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The Plastic Checkout Bag bylaw provides exemptions for paper checkout bags as well as the following plastic bags:
Pursuant to the Plastic Checkout Bag Bylaw passed by City Council on October 9, 2018 the implementation date for the ban is July 9, 2019. After this date it will be prohibited for businesses to distribute plastic checkout bags less than 2 mils thick. Businesses may choose to order more plastic checkout bags to last them until the implementation of the ban.
The bag is still designated as a single-use bag despite being re-used. It is important to keep in mind that after someone reuses a plastic shopping bag for garbage or for dog poo, they bag is no longer recyclable and will make its home in the landfill for the next several hundred years while it breaks down. These bags will unfortunately never get recycled.
Any retail establishment, which includes any location where goods are offered for sale, that gives out or sells bags to their customers will be affected by the plastic checkout bag ban.
Biodegradable plastic bags are banned under the Plastic Checkout Bag Bylaw, which comes into force July 9, 2019. The only bags that will be exempt includes paper checkout bags and various hygienic bags.
Starting June 1, 2020 retail establishments will be required to charge a minimum of 15 cents per paper checkout bag which will be retained by the business to help offset the cost of the the bag.
There are many alternatives for shoppers to use that includes:
-Reusable bags: remember to throw these in the laundry after several uses just to make sure they stay clean and sanitary for everyday use.
-Plastic containers or laundry baskets: for large grocery trips, keep large plastic tote containers or laundry baskets in your vehicle. After you have paid for your groceries, wheel them out in a shopping cart and place them in the tote container.
-Cardboard boxes: some stores have cardboard boxes available for customer use; these are great for carrying groceries home and are accepted at the City Recycling Centre (5707 51 Street).
Forgetfulness happens to all of us and it will take some time before we are all in the habit of remembering reusable bags when we go shopping. In the meantime, some stores may sell reusable bags at the checkout for customer use.
There will be no restrictions against customers bringing in a plastic bag and using it for their own purchases when they go shopping.