Shopping in Saanich is about to become more environmentally friendly as the municipality rolls out a new plastic bag bylaw.

On Jan. 1, 2020 the district will join neighbouring Victoria in outlawing free single-use plastic bags at the checkout counter.

"Saanich has declared a climate emergency and this is a small but important step toward becoming more sustainable, reducing waste and respecting our natural environment," said Saanich Coun. Colin Plant in a news release Tuesday.

"Saanich has been a beautiful community for generations and we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect our environment for the future and reduce the negative impact that discarded plastic bags have on municipal facilities and services."

The announcement comes one day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would ban single-use plastics nationwide before the end of 2021.

A similar plastic ban took effect in Tofino and Ucluelet on June 8. Victoria banned single-use plastic bags on July 1, 2018.

Under the Saanich bylaw, businesses will still be allowed to provide paper checkout bags for a charge of at least 15 cents per bag and reusable bags for $1. Those prices will go up to a minimum of $0.25 and $2, respectively, after a year.

While the ban takes effect in January, the municipality says it won't start issuing fines for contravening the law until June.

A series of public information activities are planned during the rollout of the Saanich bylaw.