Plastic bags could eventually be outlawed in Vancouver — but the city wants to know how you feel about it first.
A public survey has been launched that will collect opinions on banning plastic shopping bags in the city, along with imposing a fee on paper and reusable bags.
Input from the survey, which runs until July 30, will inform a bylaw that will be presented to city council for approval in November, the city said Wednesday.
WATCH: (Aired June 5) Vancouver store hands out ’embarrassing’ plastic bags
Monica Kosmak, the city’s Zero Waste manager, said plastic shopping bags have become a serious problem in Vancouver
“About two million bags per week are thrown away in Vancouver garbage,” she said. “About 63 per cent of them are reused as garbage bags, but they also form a significant portion of litter.”
Plastic bags make up roughly two per cent of large litter items across the city and on marine shores, Kosmak noted.
The bylaw itself will be modeled on Victoria’s own plastic bag ban, which came into effect in July 2018 and also puts fees on paper and reusable bags.
Residents, business owners and non-profits are invited to participate in Vancouver’s survey, which is meant to see whether public opinion on a bag ban has changed in the wake of Victoria’s bylaw.
Tofino and Ucluelet imposed a plastic bag ban earlier this year, which also outlaws single-use plastic straws.
Other B.C. municipalities, including Surrey and New Westminster, are in the process of working out the details of their own bans.
WATCH: (Aired June 29, 2018) B.C.’s capital banning single-use plastic bags July 1st
The federal Liberal government has indicated it’s eyeing a ban on plastic bags by 2021.
Vancouver’s bag ban was suggested as part of the city’s Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy, which looks to reduce or ban other items including plastic straws and Styrofoam food containers.
The city has postponed approving a bylaw that would include the straw ban until at least April 2020, while food containers may not start to disappear until January.