VICTORIA — The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has approved Saanich council’s proposed bylaw to ban single-use plastic bags.

Saanich’s Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw is intended to eliminate all single-use plastic checkout bags in the district, while still permitting paper bags to be sold for 15 cents. 

Saanich’s plastic bag ban underwent amendments last year after the district saw the City of Victoria’s plastic bag bylaw struck down by the B.C. Court of Appeal in July, 2019. 

Victoria originally launched its plastic bag ban on July 1, 2018. However, the B.C. Court of Appeal said that Victoria overreached with its ban as the bylaw was based on environmental grounds, which fall under provincial jurisdiction, and not a business regulation, which would fall under the purview of the city.

After Victoria’s bylaw was struck down, the District of Saanich amended its single-use plastic bag ban and submitted it directly to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman.