Black Press file photo

Black Press file photo

Cumberland moves one step closer to single-use plastic ban

Council discussed a phased ban, starting with plastic bags and straws

Cumberland council has voted to move forward with a single-use plastics ban in the Village.

Over the summer, council directed staff to prepare a report on the impacts of a single-use plastics ban, which was presented at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Talking to business owners, a lot of them, if they’re not already seeking alternatives or doing something different, they’re just not [using plastic] at all,” said Kaelin Chambers, economic development coordinator with the Village.

On Tuesday, council voted to direct staff to prepare a Single-Use Item Regulation Bylaw to be implemented no earlier than July 1, 2019. This would include a minimum period of six months between implementation and bylaw enforcement so that businesses can use up existing stock. Enforcement of this bylaw would likely be complaint driven.

Council agreed to introduce the ban in a phased approach, starting with plastic grocery bags and straws.

“I think we’re ready for that,” said Coun. Vickey Brown. “Especially with six months to a year lead-time and another six months to a year implementation time.”

Approximately 35 businesses in the Village could be affected, however, the majority of them have already moved away from using single-use plastics and the rest are receptive to alternatives.