Courtenay Moving Forward with Plastics Ban

Originally published on MyComoxValleyNow.com on Thursday, July 25th, 2019.

The City of Courtenay is forging ahead with its ban on single-use plastics.

This despite Victoria losing its battle in the BC Court of Appeal for a similar ban.

The appeal was filed by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association. For a link to the judge’s decision, click here

Last month, Courtenay approved a bylaw which will start phasing out single-use plastics.

The bylaw takes effect on July 1st but won’t be enforced until March 31st of next year.

Mayor Bob Wells said it’s status quo until the city hears anything different.

Wells said the city is looking into how that court decision will impact what happens locally.

“That’s going to unfold in its own way,” he said. “What I can say is that we’ve been pushing hard with our provincial and federal ministries of the environment to have them take the lead on this.”

The mayor noted that there is a federal and provincial framework that the industry can work at the national and provincial levels.

Wells says a big challenge is municipalities enforcing bans that aren’t consistent with one another.

“They’re kind of onesies-twosy,” he said. “So one municipality might be different from another and when you look at the whole province, that makes it really challenging for industry that’s trying to make sure they adhere to the rules of each municipality when that might not be possible.”

Cumberland and Comox are also enforcing bans.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in June that the federal government will ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021. 

The Comox Valley Nurses for Health and the Environment also supports a valley-wide ban.

They say single-use bags present an ecological danger because they degrade into microplastics and further leach into soils, groundwater, and the ocean.

Troy Landreville