Plastic bags may be a thing of the past for Revelstoke residents.
In a report to city council dated April 6 director of engineering Mike Thomas requested the City’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) investigate the feasibility of banning or reducing single use plastic shopping bags.
The request to investigate comes after the EAC raised the topic at their last meeting on March 15.
The EAC had requested that City Staff investigate the feasibility of reducing or phasing out the use of plastic bags, but Thomas wrote that given Staff’s current workload they are suggesting that the committee provide recommendations to council.
Generally, staff make suggestions to council based on the recommendations of a committee.
Among the questions the committee is being asked to investigate is what level of the authority the City would have to propose a ban on plastic shopping bags.
The City of Victoria passed a bylaw to ban plastic bags in January, but later faced legal backlash from an advocacy group that claimed they had no authority to do so.
City council will discuss the request to ask the environmental committee to investigate the topic at a special council meeting on April 17.
“Single use shopping bags waste resources in their production and add to unnecessary waste being landfilled,” wrote Thomas in his report to council. “The environmental impacts of discarded plastics waste on waterways and aquatic wildlife is significant and has been well documented in Canada. Understanding the City’s authority and the feasibility of banning or reducing single use shopping bags within the community promotes environmental citizenship.”
The mandate of the EAC is to provide the City with recommendations that encourage environmental citizenship.