Regional District of North Okanagan plans to ban single-use plastic bags by 2020 may be delayed.
After giving second and third readings to the proposed bylaw at the regular meeting on July 17, the RDNO board decided to consult with the Ministry of Environment before moving forward to fourth reading and adoption.
According to a release, the decision to consult the ministry was made due to the BC Court of Appeal ruling this month that found the City of Victoria’s bylaw banning single-use checkout bags was not valid, since the bylaw required provincial approval.
“We reviewed the court ruling and learned that there is a need to seek provincial approval in the process, so we are going to do just that,” said Kevin Acton, board chair of the RDNO.
“We have to send many of our bylaws to the inspector of municipalities, so it’s not unlike a regular practice of ours.”
Ultimately, the release said, the RDNO board would like the province to ban single-use plastics and has sent a letter to the Ministry of Environment requesting action.
In the meantime, Acton encouraged people to voluntarily bring their own reusable bags with them when they go shopping.
“While a bylaw may not be in effect, it’s a good idea to start building good habits,” he said.