Regina’s plastic bag ban bylaw officially comes into effect on Tuesday.
The bylaw states that any retail or food business that provides a plastic checkout bag can be fined. This includes biodegradable plastic.
A person or business also may not restrict or deny the use of any reusable container or reusable bag by a person.
The city said that the Plastic Checkout Bag Ban Bylaw is intended to minimize plastic waste entering the landfill, prevent plastic litter and extend the life of the landfill.
“The average Canadian uses 200 to 300 plastic checkout bags a year, which means that Regina residents produce millions of single use plastic bags annually,” said the city of Regina website.
“Even if you reuse some of your bags, many are ending up in our landfill or littered throughout our community. This ban will eliminate the excess from our community.”
According to the bylaw, a person will be fined $100 for the first offence, $200 for a second offence and up to $500 for a third offence. Businesses will be fined $500 for the first offence, $1,000 for the second offence and up to $10,000 for the third offence.
A sign in a Regina Superstore promoting the city’s new plastic bag ban bylaw. (Kevin O’Conner/CBC)
According to the city, the ban only applies to bags provided to customers at checkout. Businesses may only provide plastic bags for the following purposes:
- Carrying fruits or vegetables.
- Carrying freshly prepared bakery items or other food items that are not pre-packaged.
- Transporting wrapped flowers or potted plants.
- Containing bulk food items or bulk hardware items.
- Transporting live fish.
- Covering clothes immediately following professional laundering or dry cleaning.
- Covering newspapers or other printed materials intended to be left at the customer’s residence or place of business.
- Carrying prescription drugs received from a pharmacy.
- Carrying fresh or frozen meat, poultry, fish or frozen foods whether pre-packaged or not.
- Protecting linens, bedding or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable container.
- Protecting tires that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag.
- Using at the customer’s residence or place of business, provided such plastic bags are pre-packaged and sold in packages of multiple bags.