Please see the note below from the government of PEI dealing with next year’s ban on single use plastic bags and the fee on paper and reusable bags.

The government wants to ensure that businesses are aware as the ban will come into effect in less than 9 months.

RCC is pleased that the PEI government has agreed with RCC’s position that retailers should retain the fee that government will make retailers charge customers for using paper and reusable checkout bags.

Background:

Plastic Bag Reduction Act
What YOUR BUSINESS Needs to Know

Bill No. 114, the Plastic Bag Reduction Act received Royal Assent on June 12, 2018 and will come into force on July 1, 2019. The intent of the Act is to reduce waste and environmental damage resulting from single-use checkout bags, by incenting the shift to reusable bags.

We encourage all businesses to become familiar with the requirements under the Plastic Bag Reduction Act (copy attached). Here is some of what you need to know:

  • The Plastic Bag Reduction Act comes into force on July 1, 2019.
  • The Act prohibits a business from providing plastic checkout bags to customers.
  • The Act prohibits the use of biodegradable or compostable checkout bags, as they are currently a contaminant to both the recycling and compost streams.
  • A business may provide a customer with a paper bag or a reusable checkout bag.
  • A business is required to charge a minimum of $0.15 for a paper checkout bag.
  • A business is required to charge a minimum of $1.00 for a reusable checkout bag.
  • A business will retain the fee collected for both the paper and reusable checkout bags.
  • The fee is subject to HST.
  • A business is prohibited from providing free paper or reusable checkout bags, except for a “small paper bag” (15cm by 30cm = 300sq cm) that may be provided at no charge.
  • Paper bags must be recyclable.
  • Some limited exemptions are provided for loose items, food safety, medications, dry cleaning or some bulk items (please refer to sub-section 5 of the Act for list of exemptions).
  • A business may use up existing bag supplies purchased prior to the coming into force of the Act.
  • On January 1, 2020 the fee for a paper bag will increase to $0.25 per bag.
  • On January 1, 2020 the fee for a reusable bag will increase to $2.00 per bag.

We encourage all businesses to review their obligations under the Plastic Bag Reduction Act (http://www.assembly.pe.ca/bills/pdf_chapter/65/3/chapter-38.pdf) to ensure they have the appropriate inventory of checkout bags on July 1, 2019.

We welcome your questions and comments to [email protected]

In the event of a discrepancy between the information provided above and the Plastic Bag Reduction Act, the Act shall prevail.

Next Steps:

RCC is calling for government to clarify the limited exception where a retailer can provide a customer with a paper or reusable bag, free of charge. RCC will also push for clarification on how the amount of a fine for non-compliance will be determined. Concurrently, RCC will seek clarification on the definition of a ‘reusable bag’ to ensure that current reusable bags will qualify. Finally, as regulations and guidelines are developed, RCC will continue to push for a more consultative process while pushing for an elimination of the fee on paper bags.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Jim Cormier, Director, (Atlantic) at: [email protected] or 902-422-4144