Advocacy | Sustainability

Update on Qualicum Beach (B.C.) single-use plastic items ban

December 19, 2018

RCC’s November 21 update indicated that Qualicum Beach would ban single-use plastic bags and straws on January 1, 2019.  Monday evening (December 17) Qualicum Beach Town Council amended the effective date of the bylaw to March 10, 2019.  Third reading of the bylaw has been delayed until January 14, 2019.  Qualicum Beach administrative staff noted that there was no opposition at Council and therefore they anticipate the bylaw will pass.


Qualicum Beach Council has given two readings to a bylaws to ban single-use plastic shopping bags and straws.  The bylaw is attached to this email.

The bylaw is less complex than the bylaw enacted by the City of Victoria, operational impacts will be less than in Victoria and consumer costs lower.  The bylaw provides a definition for compostable bags and reusable (plastic) bags.  The Qualicum Beach bylaw will require that compostable bags display one or more compostable mark(s) of conformity.  Reusable bags are defined as “a bag with handles designed and manufactured to have a minimum of 100 uses and is at least 2.25 mils (0.571 millimetres) thick, if made of plastic.”

The bylaws has exemptions for plastic bags used to: (a) package loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy; (b) package small hardware items such as nails, screws, nuts and bolts; (c) contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, which may be prepackaged; (d) wrap flowers or potted plants; (e) protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not prepackaged; (f) contain prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications; and (g) protect clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning.

Next Steps

RCC will continue to be in contact with communities considering single-use plastic bylaws in order to promote simplicity, lower consumer cost, good environmental outcomes, and, to encourage communities to pass bylaws which do not have onerous operational impacts.  RCC is currently monitoring progress of potential plastic bag bans in the following B.C. communities: City of Vancouver, Saanich, Esquimalt, Nanaimo, Parksville and Salmon Arm.

RCC will inform members with stores in Qualicum Beach about the third-reading consideration of the Qualicum Beach bylaw.

RCC maintains a list of single-use plastic item bylaws on our web site for member information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (British Columbia) at or 604-736-0368.

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