Saanich Coun. Susan Brice says it is only a matter of time until Saanich bans single-use plastic bags. Wolf Depner/News Staff

Plastic bag ban back on Saanich council table

Counicillor says it’s not if, but how and when a plastic bag ban will take effect in Saanich

A Saanich councillor says the municipality will follow Victoria in banning single-use plastic bags.

“It’s not if [Saanich will ban single use plastic bags], but how and when,” said Coun. Susan Brice.

She made this prediction as council prepares to discuss a memo in which she asks her colleagues to take the issue up again.

“There are always going to be people who don’t like government telling them what to do,” she said.

But public thinking has very much shifted against plastics including plastic bags and developments are reaching a tipping point, she said. While single-use plastic bags are easy to use, residents and businesses have already been turning away from them because of their environmental effects.

The issue will be back on council’s table Monday after B.C.’s highest court ruled in favour of Victoria’s plastic bag ban, which came into effect July 1.

The Canadian Plastic Bag Association had claimed the ban would “significantly impact” its members who manufacture and supply bags for the Victoria market, and lobbied against the move in January. But the court found otherwise.

With this ruling in mind, Saanich should pick up the issue again, said Brice.

Specifically, she is asking staff to prepare a report that would describe the future steps prior to the passage of an “appropriate bylaw” banning single-use plastic bags.

This bylaw would be modelled along Victoria’s bylaw, she said. Unless staff find any specific local issues, any future bylaw banning single-use plastic bags in Saanich should follow the central elements of Victoria’s bylaw, because of the many connections between both communities.

Many businesses operate in both municipalities, while many residents shop across municipal borders, she said.

“Clearly, there are advantages for the public and businesses to have common rules throughout the region,” she said in her memo.

Ultimately, Brice said she would like to see a regional bylaw covering all communities in the Greater Victoria region.

Looking at time frames, Brice said a bylaw could be before council within six months, coming into effect sometime after that.

Saanich has a strong record of public consultation, she said in discussing the process leading up to a future bylaw. Businesses would also need time, she added.

Brice had first proposed banning single-use plastic bags in September 2017. While these efforts gained steam throughout the fall of 2017, council voted in February 2018 to hold off with further action until after the Victoria bylaw had passed legal muster.

Brice said last year support for the ban of single-use plastic bags has been building for many years across the Greater Victoria region thanks to the work of students like Charlotte Brady and Anastasia Castro of Glenlyon Norfolk School who have been pushing for such a ban.

Last month, they, along with their classmate Grace Poole, were among the winners of the 2018 Saanich Environmental Awards.

While it is not clear how many single-use plastic bags currently circulate through Saanich, the number is likely high.

Greener Footprints, a not-for-profit society registered in British Columbia, estimates that Canadians use up to 15 billion bags every year, or about 17,000 bags a minute. Naturally, many will end up in local landfills.

Scientists have also blamed single-use plastic bag for a long list of harmful effects.

They include the death of sea birds, sea mammals and fish. Single-use plastic bags have also received criticism for contributing to climate change by using non-renewable hydro-carbons. Finally, scientists have linked the central chemical compound in the manufacturing of plastic bags, Bisphenol A – or BPA – with pregnancy problems, prostate problems and behaviour problems in children.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

VicPD notify public of sexual assault with weapon in Esquimalt

Officers ask residents to be vigilant while investigation continues

VIATEC’s 2018 “Startup of the Year” heads to Vegas for global spotlight

Victoria-based boat security company Barnacle Systems set for Consumer Electronics Show

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Surprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

Mommy’s Inside Voice: Santa is real

The holidays are a truly magical time of year

Langford elementary school kids test their hand at entrepreneurship

Students sold their own products at a Young Entrepreneurs Fair Friday

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

Most Read