Start saving your shopping bags.
Starting April 22, 2022 — Earth Day — businesses in Port Moody will no longer be allowed to pack customers’ purchases in plastic bags, or prepared foods in foam containers. You also won’t be able to drink from a plastic straw or stir your coffee with a plastic stick.
Although most of those could already by outlawed by the federal government by then anyway.
On Tuesday (Oct. 12), Port Moody councillors formally adopted a bylaw banning single-use plastics and styrofoam food containers in the city.
Under the new bylaw, businesses can offer their customers the use of paper bags for $0.25 each, or $2 for a reusable bag. Failure to follow the rules could result in a fine up to $10,000 plus the costs of prosecution under the Offence Act, or $1,000 if a ticket is issued by a city bylaw officer.
Plastic bags will still be allowed to package loose bulk items like fruit, vegetables, nuts and candy, as well as loose hardware items like nails and screws.
They can also be used to wrap prepackaged frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, flowers and potted plans, protect other items that aren’t prepackaged or clothes that have been dry cleaned.
You’ll also be permitted to bring your own plastic bags you’ve saved for reuse.
According to Laura Hardman, the director of plastics for Ocean Wise, ocean researchers “have found plastic just about everywhere they have looked, from deep sea sediment to our shorelines.”
Last July, B.C. amended a regulation under the Community Charter allowing local governments to enact such bans without ministerial approval.
Prior to the change in provincial rules, bans on single-use plastics had been approved for Esquimalt, Nanaimo, Richmond, Rossland, Saanich, Surrey, Tofino, Ucluelet and Victoria. Vancouver’s ban on single-use plastics, as well as foam cups and takeout containers, takes effect on Jan. 1.
But in October 2020, the federal government announced a list of single-use plastics it said it planned to ban nationwide by the end of this year, including grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, cutlery, food containers and six-pack rings.