On January 11th, Victoria became the first city in British Columbia to approve the ban of single-use plastic bags – it is slated to go into effect on July 1st, 2018.
However, the Canadian Plastic Bag Association has challenged this prohibition, filing a Supreme Court petition to assert that the City of Victoria does not have the jurisdiction to impose the ban, or to force retailers to charge individuals for paper or reusable bags.
According to a CTV News report, the lobby group wants the City to admit that it acted outside its jurisdiction in trying to create the plastic bag ban, and wants to collect ‘relief’ and other associated costs.
District of Saanich to wait for judgment
The District of Saanich was set to follow suit and impose its own single-use plastic bag ban, but in light of Victoria’s court battle with the CPBA has decided to wait until a verdict has been reached.
Under the City of Victoria’s Checkout Bag Regulation bylaw, businesses will have to charge customers $0.15 to issue a paper bag, or $1 for a reusable bag from July 1st onwards.
In the second step of the bag-ban bylaw, starting on Jan 1st, 2019, reusable bags will cost $2, and paper bags will cost $0.25.
From January onwards, penalties for breaking the bylaw rules will also result in fines of $100-$10,000 for businesses, and $50-$500 for individuals.