Written guidance for B.C. single-use and plastic waste regulation released - Retail Council of Canada
British Columbia | Sustainability | Sustainability News

Written guidance for B.C. single-use and plastic waste regulation released

September 7, 2023

The province published a new Single-Use and Plastic Waste Regulation on July 14, 2023. The Regulation establishes several Canadian precedents for provincial regulation of shopping bags, food service ware and food service accessories. RCC expects other provinces may follow the B.C. precedents.

On Thursday, August 31, 2023, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy published four factsheets: Shopping Bags, Disposable Food Service Accessories, Food Service Ware, and, Oxo-degradable Plastics (RCC also published an FAQ for members to answer relevant member questions). RCC’s understanding is that the Ministry will update the landing page to indicate that compliance and enforcement activity will be focused on education for the first six months. Only the most egregious non-compliance would result in enforcement activity in the first six months.

Among areas where clarity has been achieved are: What are and are not shopping bags (not: convenience bags, garment bags, bags for larger items like pillows); that the sale and distribution of jute, hemp, and leather tote bags (not machine-washable) is acceptable; and, a significant list of operational concerns for quick-service restaurants on the distribution of food service ware and accessories. RCC invested significant effort to ensure particular issues that were unclear in the Regulation were addressed by written guidance and invested significant effort to inform the Ministry about industry concerns on those issues. RCC is generally pleased with the written guidance (factsheets) and considers this a win. There are a number of outstanding issues on which RCC will continue to expend effort over the coming three months – most significantly the definition of reusable bag that requires reusable bags to be designed and manufactured for 100 machine-washings.

For questions or more information contact

Greg Wilson
Director, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs