Single-use plastics: Richmond council considering commercial ban
CTV News Vancouver
Published Monday, July 15, 2019 2:16PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 15, 2019 2:23PM PDT
Richmond is the next city to consider a single-use plastic ban, as the matter is expected to come up at a general purposes' committee meeting Monday.
The idea for a commercial ban on single-use plastic bags, straws and foam containers was first brought before council in May. At that time, the ban was supported unanimously. Now, staff is asking council to consider the bylaw's implementation for January 2020, which would include a budget of $260,000 for 2019 and consultation.
For 2020, however, the estimated annual operating budget impact is $450,000, plus capital costs of $45,000, according to a staff report.
Richmond's proposal comes less than a week after Victoria's plastic ban bylaw was struck down by the B.C. Court of Appeal.
In that instance, the bylaw was challenged by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association, arguing the city didn't have the authority to ban a product from distribution or financially impact manufacturers.
In a unanimous ruling, the B.C. Court of Appeal found that the city moved ahead with the ban without the B.C. environment minister's approval.
Also last week, the City of Vancouver launched public consultations around banning plastic bags. In a statement, the city said staff "are studying the decision to determine how it affects Vancouver."
"Vancouver is not governed by the same legislation that governs Victoria's bag ban," the city wrote. "The city's authority over this issue is found in the Vancouver Charter, which was not the subject of this litigation."
Lawyer Ryan Parsons, with Eyford Partners, who represented the Canadian Plastic Bag Association told CTV News if other municipalities have bylaws where the primary purpose was to protect the environment and they didn't get sign-off from the minister, they could also be vulnerable to similar legal action.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan