Parksville council initiates look into plastic bag ban

Councillor issues motion in conjunction with annual Earth Day

During her new business sharing period, Parksville Coun. Mary Beil reminded those in council chambers that this Sunday was Earth Day.

She then took a step to assist Mother Earth by forwarding a motion calling on staff to “investigate options to adopt a ban” on the distribution of single-use plastic bags at point of sale within the City of Parksville.

“Since this weekend is Earth Day, it seems appropriate to make this motion at this time,” Beil said during council’s regular meeting Monday, April 16.

Beil cited statistics from an online survey run by the city in late 2017, in which roughly 80 per cent of respondents supported a reduction in plastics in general, and in which about 60 per cent supported a specific ban on single-use bags at the point of sale.

“I would hope this would encourage the adoption of more sustainable, longer-life bags,” Beil said.

She also cited the efforts of a “neighbouring community” to eliminate single-use bag distribution. Qualicum Beach is in the midst of attempting to adopt a bylaw on the prohibition of plastic bags, and on March 19 approved first reading of the bylaw, 4-1.

Related: Qualicum Beach takes step closer to banning plastic bags

Beil’s motion for Parksville to begin the process of considering a bylaw passed without further discussion, by a 5-1 margin. Coun. Leanne Salter was absent, and Coun. Teresa Patterson was opposed.

Patterson, a Parksville restaurant owner and caterer, noted after the meeting that she uses compostable bags in her own business, and said she felt there were other steps the city might take to encourage reduction of plastics in the environment.

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