Richmond proposes bylaw to ban plastics, foam containers and straws

Just days before Richmond council was set to look at how it could ban single-use plastics and foam containers, the courts came down on the city of Victoria, ruling its plastic bag ban over-stepped its jurisdiction.

A proposed bylaw for the City of Richmond that would prohibit the commercial sale and distribution of Styrofoam containers, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2020, is on the agenda for Monday’s general purposes committee.

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The appeals court ruled that the primary purpose of Victoria’s bylaw was to protect the natural environment rather than regulate business, and, therefore, the city should have sought provincial approval for the bylaw.

The appeal court noted the city was informed by the Ministry of Environment that the bylaw was subject to ministry approval.

The bylaw was challenged in B.C. Supreme Court by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association and the court sided with the city of Victoria. But, when appealed, this was overturned.

The Richmond ban was originally proposed by council in early spring after Coun. Chak Au brought forward a motion to ban single-use plastic items. This was then expanded to include Styrofoam. 

The motion includes a budget of $260,000 and an implementation plan, which includes consultation and enforcement.

- With files from the Victoria Times Colonist

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