Plastic lobby group files court petition to overturn Victoria bag ban
A plastic industry lobby group is threatening the City of Victoria with legal action to overturn a plastic bag ban enacted by city council earlier this month.
The Canadian Plastic Bag Association, which represents a "wide range of manufacturers and distributors of plastic shopping bags" in B.C. and Canada, has filed a court petition challenging the validity of the city's Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw – and is seeking to quash it.
In the petition, filed Jan. 22, the group says it wants the city to declare that it acted outside of its authority when it passed the motion, and is also seeking associated costs and "other relief" deemed just by the court.
"CPBA members have a substantial interest in the manufacture, supply, distribution and sale of plastic bags in Victoria and will, wholly and individually, be significantly impacted by the plastic bag ban imposed by the City of Victoria," the petition reads.
The group sets out several arguments against the ban, claiming that the city doesn't have jurisdiction to prohibit businesses from providing plastic bags under the Community Charter, and that the city can't force retailers to charge a minimum fee for paper or reusable bags.
The City of Victoria confirmed to CTV News that legal staff were reviewing the petition and preparing a response.
Victoria became the province's first city to officially ban-single use plastic bags in an 8-1 vote on Jan. 11.
Under the bylaw, which comes into effect July 1, businesses will only be allowed to provide paper or reusable bags to customers if they ask for them.
Retailers must charge minimum $0.15 for paper bags and $1 for reusable bags, and those costs will rise to $0.25 and $2, respectively, in January 2019.
Exceptions to the ban include bags used to package loose bulk foods, hardware items, meat or plants, dry cleaning bags, and bags that protect linens, beddings or other large items.