One of the displays at a Qualicum Beach open house on Thursday, Feb. 15 includes some of the plastic waste collected in 30 minutes while walking along the beach in town. — Lauren Collins photo

Qualicum Beach wants to educate people on plastic bag ban

Businesses owners, residents attend open houses

Business owners and residents, including one who turned her late husband’s gardening jeans into a reusable bag, stopped by the Qualicum Beach town hall Thursday (Feb. 15) to find out more on the town’s proposed plastic bag ban.

The town, along with members of Communities Protecting Our Coast, hosted two open houses on the town’s proposed plastic bag ban. The open houses included a poster board explaining what other municipalities, such as Victoria and Nanaimo, have proposed or implemented in regards to a plastic bag ban. There was also a display of plastic found along the Qualicum Beach waterfront.

RELATED: Victoria first B.C. municipality to adopt plastic bag ban

RELATED: Nananimo votes to ban plastic bags

One resident, John Mullan, said he and his wife attended the open house because he said they understand why a ban is important.

“They (the plastics) end up in the soil, they end up in streams, they end up in oceans, they’re bad for fish; what good are they, to be honest?” said Mullan, who has been using his own reusable bags for years. “I’d like to ban them all. It’s really simple for me.”

Mayor Teunis Westbroek, who was on hand at the open house, said he and council do not want to force a plastic bag ban on residents and business owners.

“We want to encourage them and convince them that reducing plastic bags is the right thing to do,” said Westbroek, adding that some people have already been using reusable bags for years.

RELATED: Shop owner hoping Qualicum Beach, businesses fund reusable bags

Westbroek said he feels there is currently a lack of understanding and a benefit of convenience when it comes to using plastic bags for shopping.

“I think people will change, and they’ve proven they will change if given the right information.”

The town’s plastic bag ban survey is still online and can be found at

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