Penticton council to discuss plan for ban on single-use plastics

Ban on single-use plastics?

Penticton city council has a potential ban on single-use plastics to discuss at their meeting Tuesday.

The B.C. government recently amended their regulations, allowing local municipalities to ban single-use plastics without first getting provincial approval — a move that streamlines the process.

A municipality can now pass a bylaw that prohibits businesses from providing checkout bags made of plastic, foam containers, plastic utensils or plastic drinking straws.

City staff have recommended that council sit back and wait until the provincial government nails down their official legal framework to assist municipalities, expected by the end of the year.

Other municipalities have already taken steps forward with plastic bans. Richmond and Chilliwack, for example, have banned only certain single-use plastic items, and their bylaws do not take effect for several months in order to allow businesses time to come into compliance.

"According to research done by staff, no Okanagan municipalities have passed restrictions on single-use plastics," reads the staff report.

Should the city move forward with a ban, it would require an estimated $20,000 in the 2022 budget, which includes the cost of public outreach, education campaigns and monitoring and enforcement.

Staff note that waiting to take action until the provincial guidelines are in place may provide the opportunity for an Okanagan-wide alignment on rules, and potential grant funding from the province.

City council will discuss the matter Tuesday.

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