The Town of Qualicum Beach is planning to take the necessary steps to eliminate plastic bags at point-of-sale in the future.
At Monday’s council meeting, Coun. Anne Skipsey brought forward a motion to work with community partners to develop an education program by the end of October, in preparation for the implementation of a bylaw to eliminate the use of bags at point-of-sale in the town.
The motion passed unanimously.
Skipsey said Communities Protecting Our Coast (CPOC) gathered 200 signatures on Beach Day this year, supporting their requestion to council to eliminate plastic bags at point-of-sale. Of those signatures, Skipsey said, 55 per cent were Qualicum Beach residents and 24 per cent were from the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area.
At the July 17 council meeting, CPOC asked the town to ban plastic shopping bags.
“I would really like to see Qualicum Beach show our concern for the environment for the future of our oceans and be leaders in this regard,” Skipsey said.
Skipsey also said there needs to be education on the elimination of plastic bags, which will also provide time for other local governments to provide the legal framework for the bylaw.
While Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said he agreed with the motion, he said there is a bigger picture.
“Then we bring it down to the microcosm of Qualicum Beach — not the world — and we think of our impact as citizens on the global picture, it’s very, very, very minute,” he said.
“I think we’re well ahead of many communities in many countries in the world. This issue is way bigger than Qualicum Beach and I think we need to have some dialogue with senior levels of government to encourage the sort of uniform application of bylaws concerning single-use plastic.”