With the Town of Qualicum Beach working on banning plastic bags in the community, three local groups are being urged to band together to produce a reusable alternative for local businesses to sell.
Staff indicated to council at its regular meeting March 19 that it would be a good time to consider promotional advertising for reusable options, including a campaign supporting a Qualicum Beach reusable bag.
Jean Young of the Qualicum Beach Uptown Market Society appeared as a delegation to council on Jan. 29 and requested funding for development of a reusable shopping bag.
Staff recommended the society be encouraged to work with the Qualicum Beach Downtown Business Association (QBDBA) and the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce on this project.
Young requested the town provide between $3,000 and $5,000 to cover the cost to produce 1,000 bags, which local businesses can sell for approximately $3.50 to $5 each.
The shopping bags would feature logos from any businesses that wish to contribute, including the Town of Qualicum Beach.
Staff suggested the three groups meet to determine the level of interest from the business community prior to council making a decision on the funding request.
Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer amended the staff recommendation with a request that the society develop a truly non-synthetic reusable shopping bag.
“Again, when we see the bags they’re plastic-coated; we’re doing the same thing,” said Luchtmeijer. “We’re just encouraging the same behaviour. We have to stop that behaviour.”
Council unanimously approved the amendment as well as the motion to have the society work with QBDBA and QBCC on the reusable shopping bag project, and also supported a motion for sponsorship for the Uptown Summer Market.