SINGLE-USE ITEM REGULATION AMMENDMENT - March 15, 2022
On March 15, 2022 District of Ucluelet Council adopted Single-Use Item Regulation Amendment Bylaw No. 1298, 2022 which adds Plastic and Bio-Plastic Utensils to the list of items being regulated within the municipality. As defined by Ministerial Order M309, the word utensil “includes a spoon, fork, knife, chopstick or stir stick”.
Enforcement of the ban on plastic utensils will come into effect on September 15, 2022, allowing a six-month transitional time-period for the business community to adjust their current practices, educate staff, use up any existing stocks of plastic utensils they may have on hand, and source out appropriate and available product alternatives. During this six-month transitional time-period, Staff will continue to work with Surfrider Pacific Rim to ensure the newest “Cut the Cutlery” campaign becomes a familiar and welcomed addition to our business and residential community.
As shown on the Government of BC’s Environmental Protection and Sustainability website page, the District of Ucluelet will be one of the first municipalities in British Columbia to regulate every single-use item suggested in Ministerial Order M309. The continued regulation of these items (and future items) by our Council, supports the ongoing efforts of CleanBC’s Plastics Action Plan as well as initiatives brought forth in Ucluelet’s recently adopted Climate Change Adaptation Plan and Official Community Plan.
SINGLE-USE ITEM REGULATION - October 2020
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,2020 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:
Manager of Corporate Services