Shopping bag regulations across Canada

To help you find your way through the patchwork of plastic bag bylaws and regulations, we have assembled a quick reference table.

Note: Click on any of the headings below to change the column the information is sorted by or use the search to find a specific term.

wdt_IDSortProvinceMunicipalityTypes of bags bannedExemptionsEffective as of
11827B.C.Sooke

Any bag used by a customer for transport of goods from a business, including take-out and delivery of food.

More information: District of Sooke bylaw

Note: A recent B.C. Court of Appeal sets a precedent that likely impacts all local government shopping bag bylaws.

  • Paper bags containing at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content, displaying the words “recyclable” and “made from 40% post-consumer recycled content”, for which a fee of at least 15 cents per bag must be charged.
  • Small paper bags, less than 15 centimetres by 20 centimetres when flat.
  • Recycled bags, designed and manufactured to be capable of at least 100 uses, primarily made of cloth or other washable fabric, for which a fee of at least $1 per bag must be charged.
  • Small paper bags or plastic bags used to:
    • package loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, or candy;
    • package loose hardware items such as nails and bolts;
    • contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry, or fish, whether pre-packaged or not;
    • wrap flowers or potted plants;
    • protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged;
    • contain prescription drugs received from a pharmacy;
    • transport live fish;
    • protect linens, bedding, or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag;
    • protect newspapers or other printed material intended to be left at a customer’s residence or place of business;
    • protect clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning.
  • Packages of multiple bags intended for the use at the customer’s home or business.
  • Bags that have been returned to the business for the purpose of being reused by other customers.
  • Bags purchased by a business prior to May 13, 2019 are exempt from this bylaw until July 1, 2020.
01 Jan 2020
11921B.C.Courtenay

Any bag used by a customer for transport of goods from a business, including take-out and delivery of food.

Plastic straws, including “biodegradable” and “compostable” plastic straws.

More information: City of Courtenay bylaw

Note: A recent B.C. Court of Appeal sets a precedent that likely impacts all local government shopping bag bylaws.

  • Paper bags, for which a fee of at least 25 cents per bag must be charged
  • Small paper bags, less than 15 centimetres by 20 centimetres when flat.
  • Reusable bags designed and manufactured to last at least 100 uses, and, primarily made of cloth or other washable fabric, for which a fee of at least $1 per bag must be charged
  • Small paper bags or plastic bags used to:
    • Package loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, and candy
    • Package loose small hardware items such as nails and bolts
    • Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry, or fish, whether pre-packaged or not
    • Wrap flowers or potted plants
    • Protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged
    • Contain prescription drugs received from a pharmacy
    • Protect linens, bedding or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag
    • Protect clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning
  • Packages of multiple plastic bags and plastic straws intended for use at the customer’s home or business.
  • Bags that have been returned to the business for the purpose of being reused by other customers.
01 Jul 2019
12022B.C.Cumberland

Any single-use plastic bag used by a customer for transport of goods from a business, including take-out and delivery of food.

Plastic straws, including "biodegradable" and "compostable" plastic straws.

More information: Village of Cumberland bylaw

Note: A recent B.C. Court of Appeal sets a precedent that likely impacts all local government shopping bag bylaws.

  • Reusable bags designed and manufactured to be capable of at least 100 uses, and primarily made of cloth or other washable fabric
  • Bags used to:
    • Package loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, or candy;
    • Package loose small hardware items such as nails and bolts;
    • Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, whether prepackaged or not;
    • Wrap flowers or potted plants;
    • Protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged;
    • Contain prescription drugs received from a pharmacy;
    • Transport live fish;
    • Protect linens, bedding or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag;
    • Protect newspapers or other printed material intended to be left at the customer’s residence or place of business;
    • Protect clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning.
  • Plastic Bags or straws intended for use at the customer’s home or business, provided that they are prepackaged and sold in packages of multiple bags or straws.
01 Jul 2019
12128B.C.Tofino/
Ucluelet

Any bag used by a customer for transport of items from a business.

Plastic straws, including "biodegradable" and "compostable" plastic straws

More information:

Note: A recent B.C. Court of Appeal sets a precedent that likely impacts all local government shopping bag bylaws.

  • Paper bags, for which a fee of at least 25 cents per bag must be charged.
  • Small paper bags less than 15cm by 20cm when flat.
  • Reusable bags with handles that are for the purpose of transporting items purchased by the customer from a Business and designed and manufactured to be capable of at least 100 uses, for which a fee of at least $2 per bag must be charged.
  • Bags used to:
    • Package loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, and candy;
    • Package loose small hardware items such as nails and bolts;
    • Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, whether prepackaged or not;
    • Wrap flowers or potted plants;
    • Protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged;
    • Contain prescription drugs received from a pharmacy;
    • Protect linens, bedding or other similar large items that cannot fit easily in a reusable bag.
  • Plastic bags or plastic straws intended for use at the customer’s home or business, provided that they are prepackaged and sold in packages of multiple bags
  • Bags that have been donated to the business for the purpose of being reused by other customers.
08 Jun 2019
12223B.C.Qualicum Beach

Any plastic bag or plastic straw. 

More information: Town of Qualicum Beach bylaw

Note: A recent B.C. Court of Appeal sets a precedent that likely impacts all local government shopping bag bylaws.

  • Reusable bags designed and manufactured to have a minimum lifetime of 100 uses and at least 2.25 mils (0.571 mm) thick, if made of plastic.
  • Bags used to:
    • Package loose bulk items that are not prepackaged, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, and candy;
    • Contain small hardware items that are not prepackaged, such as nails, screws, nuts, and bolts;
    • Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, which may be prepackaged;
    • Wrap flowers or potted plants;
    • Protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not prepackaged;
    • Contain prescription drugs and over the counter medications; or
    • Protect clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning.
  • Plastic Bags or straws intended for use at the customer’s home or business, provided that they are prepackaged and sold in packages of multiple bags or straws.
01 Jul 2019
12330B.C.Victoria

A B.C. Court of Appeal decision set aside the City of Victoria bylaw. The City has not indicated how they will proceed at this time. Any bag used by a customer for transport of goods from a business, including take-out and delivery of food.

More information: Consolidated City of Victoria bylaw

  • Paper bags containing at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content and labelled as both “Recyclable” and “made from 40% post-consumer recycled content, for which a fee of at least 25 cents must be charged
  • Small paper bags, less than 15 centimetres by 20 centimetres when flat.
  • Reusable bags designed and manufactured to last at least 100 uses, and, primarily made of cloth or other washable fabric, for which a fee of at least $2 must be charged
  • Small paper bags or plastic bags used to:
    • Package loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, or candy;
    • Package loose small hardware items such as nails and bolts;
    • Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, whether pre-packaged or not;
    • Wrap flowers or potted plants;
    • Protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged;
    • Contain prescription drugs received from a pharmacy;
    • Transport live fish;
    • Protect linens, bedding or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag;
    • Protect newspapers or other printed material intended to be left at the customer’s residence or place of business;
    • Protect clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning.
  • Packages of multiple bags intended for the use at the customer’s home or business.
  • Bags that have been returned to the business for the purpose of being reused by other customers.
01 Jul 2018
12410AlbertaJasper

Any bag made with plastic, including biodegradable plastic or compostable plastic, except reusable bags

Paper bags containing less than 40% post-consumer recycled paper content

More information: Municipality of Jasper bylaw

  • Package loose bulk items
  • Package small hardware items
  • Contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, prepackaged or not
  • Wrap flowers or potted plants
  • Protect prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged
  • Contain prescription drugs received from a pharmacy
  • Protect linens, bedding or other similar large items that do not fit easily in a reusable bag
  • Paper bags containing at least 40% post-consumer recycled paper content and display the words “Recyclable” and “made from 40% post-consumer recycled content”
  • Reusable bags designed and manufactured to last at least 100 uses, and, primarily made of cloth or other washable fabric
  • Plastic bags intended for use at the customer’s home or business, provided that they are prepackaged and sold in packages of multiple bags
  • A business that purchased plastic checkout bags in bulk prior to the passing of this bylaw may continue to provide the bags until the stock is depleted, provided that the customer is first asked whether they need a bag.
04 Aug 2019
125117QuébecFarnham

Checkout conventional plastic bags, including oxo degradable, oxo fragmentable or biodegradable, regardless of thickness.

More information: Ville de Farnham règlement

  • Package loose food bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts or candy
  • Contain or wrap meat, poultry or fish
  • Package prepared food, bakery or dairy goods
01 Jul 2019
12640N.B.Moncton/
Dieppe/
Riverview

Any single-use plastic bags made with plastic, including biodegradable plastic or compostable plastic, but not meant to be reusable

Reusable bags not meeting the definition set out in the bylaw

A fee must be charged for paper bags; retailers can determine the amount of the fee to be charged

More information: City of Moncton bylaw

Small paper bags are exempt from a fee (less than 15cm X 20cm) as well as plastic bags meant to:
  • hold loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy
  • hold loose small hardware items such as nails and bolts
  • contain or wrap frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, whether pre-packaged or not
  • wrapped flowers or potted plants
  • protect prepared foods or bakery goods that aren't pre-packaged
  • contain prescription drugs from a pharmacy
  • transport live fish
  • protect linens, bedding or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag
  • protect newspapers or other printed material to be left at a person's home or business
  • protect clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning
  • protect tires that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag
Reusable bags with handles, designed and manufactured to be capable of at least 100 uses and primarily made of cloth or other durable material suitable for use.
01 Jul 2020
12711AlbertaWetaskiwin

Single use plastic bags thinner than 2 mils or 50 microns thick

Single-use plastic bags used for:
  • Carrying fruits or vegetables; fresh meat or fish products
  • Containing bulk food items or bulk hardware items
  • Freshly prepared bakery items or other food items
  • Wrapping flowers or potted plants
  • Clothes after professional laundering/ dry-cleaning
  • Dirty, greasy, or hazardous products or materials
  • Any other durable material suitable for multiple uses or made of cloth and/or machine washable fabric
09 Jul 2019
SortProvinceMunicipalityTypes of bags bannedExemptionsEffective as of

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