Heading into the new year, the City of Victoria made some resolutions in its draft Financial Plan for 2019 and draft Strategic Plan for the next four years. Among the nearly 180 objectives for 2019-2022, the draft plans include commitments to ban plastic straws in 2019 (while still considering the needs of people who require them), followed by single-use coffee cups and takeout containers in 2020. (Click here to learn more about the draft plans and their objectives.)
This comes on the heels of a plastic bag ban that came into effect on July 1, 2018. Under the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw (No. 18-008), businesses may provide paper checkout bags for a minimum charge of 15 cents per bag (rising to 25 cents on July 1, 2019), and reusable checkout bags for a minimum charge of $1 per bag (rising to $2 in 2019). These fees should be stated on customer bills. The City of Victoria has authority to issue fines to businesses not in compliance as of Jan. 1, 2019. (Click here to read more about the new Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw.)
Restaurants Canada worked with City of Victoria officials in 2018, resulting in staff recommendations to city council to amend the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw to take food safety and other foodservice industry concerns into account. Unfortunately city council has not acted on any of these recommendations. Restaurants Canada will continue to work with city officials to pursue reasonable changes to the bylaw that would allow foodservice businesses to best serve Victoria’s residents.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can send them to Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org.