THE NEW SINGLE-USE ITEM REGULATION
In response to the BC Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the City of Victoria’s Checkout Bag Bylaw, Council has adopted District of Ucluelet Single-Use Item Regulation Bylaw No. 1266, 2020. This bylaw repeals and replaces District of Ucluelet Single-Use Plastic Regulation Bylaw No. 1247, 2019.
The new bylaw, developed in partnership with the District of Tofino, is intended to promote sustainable practices by reducing the creation of waste from single-use items.
In addition to the ban on plastic drinking straws and plastic checkout bags, the new bylaw includes an exemption for the provision of plastic straws to those who require them and prohibits businesses from providing some polystyrene foam containers.
The the polystyrene prohibition came into effect on April 14, 2021 and applies to prepared foods delivered in disposable containers such as takeout containers. The polystyrene prohibition does not apply to hospitals, care facilities or polystyrene trays used for uncooked meats and other foods that require further preparation like raw poultry.
Resources for Businesses:
Key Elements of the West Coast approach:
• Regulating single-use items to protect the natural environment under the concurrent authority granted by section 8(3)(j) of the Community Charter
• No single plastic bags may be provided or sold by businesses
• Provides exemptions to restrictions and fees on plastic bags as follows:
o to package loose bulk items;
o contain or wrap fresh or frozen meat,
o poultry or fish;
o wrap flowers;
o protect baked goods and non-packaged foods;
o contain prescription drugs;
o contain large items that cannot easily fit into a reusable bag; and
o package of multiple plastic bags that are sold for personal household use.
• No plastic straws may be provided or sold by businesses
• Provides exemptions to restrictions and fees on plastic straws as follows:
o package of multiple plastic straws that are sold for personal household use; and,
o providing plastic straws to a person with accessibilty needs. Business mays not require medical information to prove need.
• No polystyrene foam packaging for prepared foods may be provided or sold by businesses
o This prohibition does not apply to hospitals, care facilities or polystyrene trays used for uncooked meats and other foods that require further preparation like raw poultry
• Avoids 'Biodegradable' or 'Compostable' plastic bags and plastic straws - these materials contaminate existing recycling streams and do not adequately decompose in a landfill or the environment
• Avoids rebound to excessive paper and reusable bags by adding a minimum price of no-less than 25 cents for paper, and $2.00 for reusable bags
• Permits plastic bags to be distributed that have already been used by a customer and that have been returned to the business for the purpose of being reused by other customers
• Specifically prohibits businesses from discouraging customers from bringing and using their own drinking straw to accommodate musculoskeletal and oral health care needs
• Educates the public using campaigns, partnerships with existing organizations and advocacy
THE NEW PROPOSED SINGLE-USE ITEM REGULATION RECEIVES MINISTERIAL APPROVAL
On September 12th, District of Ucluelet Single-Use Item Regulation Bylaw No. 1266, 2020 was approved by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, along with similar bylaws from the District of Tofino and the Cities of Victoria, Saanich and Richmond. Council is expected to consider adoption of this bylaw at the October 13, 2020 Regular Meeting.
For more information, please contact: