A single-use plastic checkout bag ban is set to take effect in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe on July 1.
Some stores, including Sobeys and local Home Hardware shops, are preparing months in advance, already removing the bags from rotation.
Instead, paper or reusable cloth bags are offered at the checkout for a fee.
But while some municipalities are trying to get ahead of the game, the Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick is calling on the New Brunswick government to enact similar, province-wide legislation.
“What we need is a comprehensive approach that provides consistency across the whole province,” Margot Cragg, the executive director of the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick says.
“Our members at our annual general meeting passed a unanimous resolution calling for a provincial-ban on single-use plastic bags.”
The Retail Council of Canada has long-advocated for provincial governments to take the lead on bag bans.
Two Atlantic provinces are the first to place a widespread ban.
Prince Edward Island’s law came into effect July 1, 2019. Newfoundland and Labradour will ban bags across that province July 1, 2020.
But Jeff Carr, New Brunswick’s environment and local government minister, says the province isn’t looked at a ban plan. Instead, they’re working on an ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ program.
“In the next six to 12 months, we will expect that we will have a regulation in place that will have industry involved to look after end-of-life on all of this waste, in conjunction with our regional service commission landfills.”
Meanwhile, at the Home Hardware on Elmwood Drive, customers are already adapting.
“Since we knew that we had to be (done offering single-use plastic bags), by July 1, we said let’s just start the year off well,” says Luc Léger, the operations manager for the Elmwood Group, and the local Home Hardware.
Smaller paper bags are offered for 10 cents, while cloth reusable bags cost $1.50.
Overall, customers say they’re ready for the elimination to become more widespread.
“The whole world should do it,” says Jonathan Cail, a customer out shopping.
“(The ban) should be nationwide. Not only New Brunswick, but everywhere in Canada,” says another customer, Robert Paris.
More information on the Greater Moncton ban can be found here.