“Paper or plastic?” will no longer be the recurring question for cashiers operating tills in Victoria.

City Council presented a bylaw on Thursday evening that passed first, second, and third readings, and will ban the distribution of plastic checkout bags.

Businesses will now have to ask if the customer needs a bag, and if so, may only offer a paper bag at the price of 15 cents, or a reusable bag at a price of $1.

If they fail to comply with the bylaw, businesses can receive fines between $100 and $10,000, while individuals could be dinged anywhere from $50 to $500.

Small plastic and paper bags still permitted

Under the updated Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw, citizens will still be permitted to use small plastic bags for loose bulk items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and candy. Similarly, bags used to contain or wrap poultry, meat, and fish are also still allowed.

Upon final approval, the bylaw will come into effect on July 1st, 2018.

According to the city, Victorians use approximately 200 bags every year, which equates to roughly 17 million plastic bags total.

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