Nanaimo prepares for implementation of plastic checkout bag ban

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The City of Nanaimo is preparing businesses for its new plastic checkout bag ban bylaw, which will take effect on July 1.

A introductory letter and brochure was mailed to all potentially affected businesses, according to the city.

“We want to ensure businesses are well supported for the July 1, 2021 implementation date. Regulating single-use bags is progress for our community and we want it to be  a positive transition for everyone and we encourage all businesses to sign up,” said Mayor Leonard Krog.

The bylaw encourages use of reusable bags by eliminating distribution of plastic checkout bags. If a customer does not have a reusable bag, businesses can provide a paper bag or reusable bag for a standard fee, as long as bags meet or exceed the sustainable design standards in the bylaw.

Nanaimo businesses that provide checkout bags to customers are encouraged to subscribe to the Checkout Bag Regulation Newsletter, which will provide information on phasing out plastic bags, preparing paper and reusable inventories and accessing the city’s upcoming toolkit to inform staff and customers, along with other updates and resources.

According to the city, the average Canadian uses 400 plastic bags per year — this is the equivalent of 40 million plastic bags per year in Nanaimo alone and 89 per cent of Nanaimo residents thought it was important to improve solid waste management of organics.

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