Victoria officially bans single-use plastic bags, a first for B.C.

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      B.C.’s capital city has officially decided to ban single-use plastic bags.

      Yesterday (January 11), Victoria councillors voted to adopt the motion. The ban is now scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2018.

      “We did it!” councillor Jeremy Loveday wrote on Twitter shortly after the vote. “The City of Victoria just became the first municipality in BC to ban single-use plastic bags!”

      Victoria mayor Lisa Helps expressed her support for the measure by posting the same message.

      The ban only applies to single-use grocery-store checkout bags. It does not prevent people in Victoria from using plastic bags for other purposes such as picking up and disposing of pets’ excrement.

      A December 2017 council report describes the ban as an effort to promote environmental sustainability.

      “The current overuse of plastic checkout bags in our community is unsustainable over the long term and has been identified by many in the public to be inconsistent with the values of Victorians,” it reads. “The single-use plastic bag is a powerful, ubiquitous example in our community of ‘throw away consumerism’, causing materials to quickly become waste after only one or few uses. This continued practice is not merely unsustainable due the upstream and downstream environmental impacts of plastic waste, but due to the wasteful and prevalent cultural norms that are consuming scarce resources in a manner that is not economically or socially sustainable.”

      It states the ban will “not only limit the use of disposable checkout bags, but also signal to businesses that they must respond to the sustainability impacts from the high volume of plastic checkout bags that are entering our landfill each and every day.”

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