A made-in-Chilliwack plan to deal with plastics is pending provincial approval.
The changes are slated to come into effect in early 2022 with the Single-Use Item Reduction Bylaw, with the goal of reducing street litter and the environmental harm as these items hit the landfill.
While awaiting Ministry of Environment approval, Chilliwack businesses and citizens have one more chance to give city council feedback on the draft bylaw via an online survey, until April 16.
“We know that some businesses have been particularly hard hit over the past year, so it’s important to us that we get their thoughts on this initiative,” said Mayor Popove in a news release.
“As a Council, we are looking forward to reducing waste in the community and supporting our local businesses as they transition to sustainable alternatives.”
The online ‘business survey’ checks in to see if the business sector feels prepared for the changes coming in 2022, what challenges they might face, and what tools might help them get there. The ‘public survey’ is for residents to weigh in on the initiative.
Today we introduced a draft Single-Use Item Reduction Bylaw, which aims to reduce litter, harm to the environment, and waste sent to the landfill from single-use items, and we are seeking feedback from businesses and residents by April 16. Press release: https://t.co/tzVQjxcC6g pic.twitter.com/SK6SMss61m
— City of Chilliwack (@City_Chilliwack) March 16, 2021
“The draft Single-Use Item Reduction Bylaw proposes to ban plastic shopping bags, foam beverage cups, foam take-out containers, plastic straws (except those for accessibility needs), and plastic disposable utensils,” according to the staff report for the March 16 meeting.
It will establish a minimum fee for some single-use items made from other materials like a paper bag, while some items will be by request only.
The draft bylaw was given three readings by council and submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for Provincial approval on March 16, on the heels of public engagement sessions that began in 2019 and continue with this online survey.
“We are now seeking your feedback on the bylaw prior to its adoption, which will occur once Provincial approval has been received,” according to the bylaw page.
The new bylaw complements federal and provincial efforts to move ahead on dealing with plastic waste. It’s a multifaceted issue facing many communities, and plastics aren’t the only problem as these materials can contain plastic, Styrofoam, and paper — or a combination of those.
The pandemic delayed the rollout in some jurisdictions, but Chilliwack has done the prep work to be ready to move ahead and take action in the year ahead.
The bylaw is slated to come into effect on January 1, 2022, but the timelines for implementation will take the pandemic and the status of economic recovery into account.
Chilliwack businesses can go online to review the draft bylaw, timeline, and share their feedback through the survey until April 16, 2021. Commenters have to register first at engagechilliwack.com.
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