Regina’s no-plastic-bag bylaw comes into effect Tuesday

Regina’s bylaw banning plastic bags officially comes into effect on Tuesday.

The regulations state that any retail or food business that provides a plastic checkout bag can be fined. This includes biodegradable plastic.

Nor can a person or business restrict or deny the use of a reusable container or a reusable bag by a person.

The city said the plastic checkout bag ban bylaw is intended to minimize plastic waste entering the landfill, prevent plastic waste and extend the life of the landfill.

“The average Canadian uses 200 to 300 plastic checkout bags per year, which means Regina residents produce millions of single-use plastic bags each year,” the City of Regina’s website said.

“Even if you reuse some of your bags, many end up in our landfill or littering our community. This ban will eliminate excess from our community.”

According to the settlement, a person will be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for a second offense and up to $500 for a third offense. Companies will be fined $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense and up to $10,000 for the third offense.

A sign at a Regina supermarket promoting the city’s new plastic bag banning bylaw. (Kevin O’Conner/CBC)

Exceptions

According to the city, the ban only applies to bags provided to customers at checkout. Companies can only supply plastic bags for the following purposes:

  • Carry fruits or vegetables.
  • Transport freshly prepared baked goods or other food items that are not prepackaged.
  • Transport of packaged flowers or potted plants.
  • Containing bulk food or bulk hardware items.
  • Transport of live fish.
  • Cover clothing immediately after professional laundering or dry cleaning.
  • Covering newspapers or other printed matter intended to be left at the client’s residence or place of business.
  • Carrying prescription drugs received from a pharmacy.
  • Transport of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, fish or frozen food, pre-packaged or not.
  • Protect linens, bedding, or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable container.
  • Protect tires that don’t fit easily into a reusable bag.
  • Use at the customer’s residence or place of business, provided these plastic bags are pre-packaged and sold in multi-bag packages.

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