Following Cumberland and Courtenay, the Town of Comox is the next community in the Comox Valley to ban single-use plastic bags and straws within its municipality.
At Wednesday’s council meeting, councillors voted in favour of Bylaw No. 1923 – a bylaw to regulate the business use of single-use plastics.
In February, a motion put forth by Coun. Nicole Minons was unanimously approved to direct staff to prepare a report on the ban.
Minions reference a previous council delegation in January by two Valley nurses – Betty Tate and Helen Boyd – and noted their tireless advocacy around the ban.
“It was something that people were passionate about during election time, and in addition to the economic and societal impacts, (a ban) goes much deeper,” she noted.
Minions added 10 to 15 per cent of the Comox Valley landfill is made up of plastics.
The bylaw does allow for some exemptions, including loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains and candy; loose hardware items such as nails and bolts; wrap which covers frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, whether pre-packaged or not; wrapped flowers or pots and plastic to protect clothes after profession dry cleaning.
If found in violation of the bylaw, a corporation is subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $10,000, while an individual is subjected to not less than $50 and not more than $500 for every instance that an offence occurs.
The bylaw will be reviewed in June of each year and is set to come into effect on Jan.1, 2020.
Bylaw No. 1923 was passed unanimously and will be adopted at the next regular council meeting.