Plastic bags and other single-use plastics will be banned in Chilliwack by the end of the week.
The new bylaw from City of Chilliwack comes into effect on Friday, April 1 — all jokes aside.
The goal is reducing street garbage and plastic pollution, and the new bylaw has been in the works since 2019.
“We know this will be an adjustment for many residents and businesses as we get into the habit of bringing our reusable shopping bags to the store, or skipping the utensils when we don’t really need them for takeout,” said Mayor Ken Popove, in a release. “However, we are pleased to see this new bylaw coming into effect because it will help reduce single-use items in our landfill and cut down on litter in the community.”
Plastic straws are also on the ban list but will be made available by request for those with accessibility needs.
Initial fees to buy paper or reusable bags are set at 15 cents each for paper and $1 per reusable bag for 2022, increasing to 25 cents for paper and $2 for reusable bags for 2023.
The bylaw means that straws and disposable utensils have to be made from other materials, like paper or wood, and the plastic straws will only be available by request.
There’s a city toolkit for businesses online with a bylaw guide, posters that can be printed to remind customers of the change, and frequently asked questions specific to each item, as well as accessibility considerations.
“Due to the extenuating circumstances of COVID-19, city staff are prioritizing outreach and education to ensure businesses have the support they need to comply with the bylaw.”
There are different ways to tackle the problem of plastics, and after considerable community consultation, Chilliwack decided to go with a combination of regulatory and educational tools. That means they are banning certain plastic items outright, setting minimum fees on others, while a few will be available by request only.
Go to chilliwack.com/SUI for all the details for residents and businesses.
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