Ban on single-use plastic bags – Invermere – Wildsight

Wildsight member Stephanie Van de Kamp petitions Invermere City Council on June 14, 2022 to enact a by-law banning single-use checkout bags in Invermere. If you would like to support this request, please consider writing your own letter to the Board in support of this settlement.

You can send letters to the Council through their online portal.

Dear: mayor and council

Subject: To seek a by-law banning single-use plastic checkout bags at Invermere

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss my request to ban single-use plastic bags in Invermere at the next
meeting of June 14, 2022.

Thirty-four communities in British Columbia have passed bylaws or are in the process of doing so, the latest being the town of Fernie on Feb. 22, a town similar in population and lifestyle to Invermere. The provincial Ministry of the Environment is fully supportive and not only removed the legislative hurdles in July 2021 giving municipalities full autonomy, but also drafted a “how to” for municipalities to follow. “Communities across British Columbia have made it clear they want to be environmental leaders by taking action to ban single-use plastics,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. climatic. “We will continue to work with all levels of government to protect our lands and waterways from plastic pollution and the damage it creates. Local governments wanted the ability to act without delay, and now they have it.

In Canada, at least 3.3 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced each year, more than 90% of which ends up in landfills. Plastic is now found at all levels of the ecosystem, it’s part of the fossil record, it’s in our food, it’s in every part of our physiology. The problem isn’t the plastic per se, to be clear, it’s the unmanageable amount of plastic. During the 2018 municipal election in Invermere, a public opinion poll asked, “Do you support a bylaw banning plastic checkout bags from all retail stores in Invermere?” Nearly 70% of respondents voted in favor of banning plastic bags (727 out of 1,042).

In 2019, a petition was launched calling on the Mayor and Council of the District of Invermere (DOI) and the leaders of the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) to embrace the ideals of our mountain community by implementing a comprehensive strategy of single-use plastic bags, starting with a bylaw banning single-use plastic bags – the petition received 1,073 signatures. In a subsequent presentation to the Invermere board in December 2019, the board decided not to act. They said they had other priorities and their staff time was limited. There were also concerns about the impact of this regulation on retailers. While provincial and federal levels of government have plans to manage plastic waste, it will take at least three years before such legislation has an impact at the local level. Creating a settlement in Invermere now will make it easier to continue already established practices when state and federal mandates are imposed. According to Clair Lloyd, senior policy analyst at the Ministry of the Environment, municipalities can pass regulations relatively quickly compared to other levels of government. Most importantly, acting now will prevent hundreds of tons of unnecessary plastic from ending up in our landfill. Creating a ban on single-use plastic bags is an important step in the right direction for this community that identifies with a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for nature. People come here from all over the world to experience the landscape we love. I encourage the board to have the leadership and vision that will only secure a legacy that they can be
proud of.

Stephanie Van de Kemp | steph@cleanlineautomotive.com | 250-341-7366

Please see the following links for more information:
Provincial Government Guide to Municipal Plastic Bylaws
BC Single Use Rule Updates: Retail Council of Canada; prohibitions in British Columbia
Examples of regulations in British Columbia: richmond, Vancouver, Surrey, Saanich, Esquimalt, Nanaimo, Victoria, Tofino, Rossland, Revelstoke
Contact for Clair Lloyd, MSc, Senior Policy Analyst, Department of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
Clair.Lloyd@gov.bc.ca

Bryce K. Locke