Sooke is considering a plastic bag ban to help stop the harm done by plastic bags in the oceans. (File photo)

Proposed plastic bag ban gains traction in Sooke

Council to hold public hearing

Sooke is one step closer to banning plastic shopping bags by 2020.

District council passed a motion by Coun. Tony St-Pierre that would target the single-use bags commonly seen at supermarkets and convenience stores.

Council voted unanimously for the ban on May 13, when it iniated a bylaw.

The Surfrider Foundation says the average Canadian uses 200 to 300 plastic bags per year with an estimated cost of two to five cents each to make. However, plastic bags cost approximately 17 cents each in respects to clean-up costs, which encompasses worker pay, fuel and maintenance of vehicles and disposal costs, to name a few.

RELATED: Esquimalt consider plastic bag ban

The belief that plastic bags are worse for the planet than either paper bags or reusable totes has been challenged in court by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association.

“For years they have been doing scientific studies and there is not one that shows that paper is better for the environment than plastic bags,” said Sally Potter, a researcher for the Canadian Plastics Association.

“In fact, studies have shown paper bags to have seven times the carbon footprint of plastic.”

Mayor Maja Tait said Sooke’s bylaw isn’t as much concerned with the carbon footprint as it is with the level of plastic waste entering waterways and harming ocean wildlife.

“You don’t hear about whales washing ashore with their stomachs full of paper bags,” Tait said.

Potter agreed plastics in the ocean are a serious problem, but maintained that banning single-use grocery bags is not the answer.

RELATED: Plastic Bag Association takes Victoria to court

A municipal staff report noted Sooke businesses have embraced a reduction in bag use by asking customers if they require a bag, offering a choice between plastic or paper bags, and one retailer charging customers if they want a bag.

“With business, restaurants and community partners on board, this bylaw could assist with reducing the amount of plastic bag litter and waste in the community. It could also reduce plastic bag disposal at landfills and in transit garbage containers,” stated the report.

Not all plastic bags would be banned. Garbage bags, dog waste bags, dry-cleaning bags and various other bags used to carry damp or hazardous items are among the plastic bags that would be exempt.

Plastic bags that carry newspapers are also exempt, according to the propsed bylaw.

Both Victoria and Esquimalt have adopted single-use plastic bag restrictions.

The proposed Sooke bylaw will go to public hearing before council considers making it law.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cobble Hill man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

23 to 25 per cent of Island tourism businesses expected to close for good due to COVID-19

New program aims to help as many as possible survive through the summer

Camosun College shares free design of medical-grade face masks

Manufacturers across Canada, United States and UK have inquired

Group looks to create offroad trail network throughout Greater Victoria

Nature Trail Society partners with private landowners to make ‘loops’

Long wait to reopen is over for Vancouver Island gyms

Fitness centre owners taking safety measures they expect to be in place for some time

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Telegraph Cove Resort will open June 1 to self-contained campers only

Washrooms, showers and all other amenities will remain closed for now

Most Read