Buz Merriam, the manager of Western Foods, left, and Wayne Kneeshaw, the manager of Village Food Markets, are joining forces to help reduce the number of plastic bags in Sooke’s environment. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke grocers move to ban plastic bags in 2020

The joint effort is happening because ‘it’s the right thing to do’

Sooke’s two largest grocery stores will move to eliminate the use of plastic bags as of Jan. 1.

The move comes as a result of Western Foods and Village Food Markets joining together to promote reusable, sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic bags.

“We talked about it (with Western Foods) and decided that we would do this together. That way neither store wouldn’t be criticized or gain advantage because of the move,” Wayne Kneeshaw, Village Food Markets manager, said.

“Of course there are going to be a few people who will be unhappy with the change, but the few voices we hear on social media don’t really represent the majority.”

Buz Merriam, the manager at Western Foods, agreed.

“In the store, we expect that we’ll get pretty much nothing but positive remarks. That was the case when we considered doing it earlier in the year,” Merriam said.

“We all have to do our part to help the environment. Wayne and I decided that we would do this together to make it happen in Sooke. We all have to do our part.”

The move comes as the District of Sooke has put a bylaw that would ban plastic bags in the community on hold.

That bylaw, passed in July, was not implemented after a similar bylaw in Victoria was set aside by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The court ruled that the clear purpose of the Victoria bylaw was to protect the environment, and it required the approval of the province and was outside the sole purview of any municipality.

But Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps argued that the appeals court decision flies in the face of a principle previously held by the Supreme Court of Canada.

“If the decision is allowed to stand it can potentially be interpreted to severely limit the power of local governments. This is why the City of Victoria is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada,” Helps said.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in 2020.

Despite the roadblocks encountered by local governments, many retailers have independently taken steps to limit the use of plastic bags.

RELATED: B.C. Liquor stores go to paper

For example, in August B.C. liquor stores made the choice to move to paper bags by March, a move that will remove 22 million plastic bags from distribution.

In addition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his government will move to ban single-use plastics from Canada by 2021.

RELATED: Canada-wide ban contemplated

It’s a move that comes within the context of a 10 per cent recycling rate for plastic products and projections that Canada will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic annually by 2030.

“We wanted to move ahead with this, regardless of the bylaws and such. Let’s face it. It’s the right thing to do” Kneeshaw said.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

Mayor not in favour of low barrier housing at Oak Bay Lodge

Process is already in place to determine future of Oak Bay Lodge

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

Victoria seeks court order to enforce sheltering rules in Beacon Hill Park

People being asked to move out of environmentally sensitive areas of park

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

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

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read