Penticton defers single-use plastic ban to province | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton defers single-use plastic ban to province

Penticton city council is interested in policy changes that allow municipalities to ban single use plastics, but they agreed to wait and see what the province does before spending $20,000 to implement a ban locally.

The province’s Single-Use Plastics Ban Analysis was raised during the regular council meeting on Oct. 19. Staff told council it would cost $20,000 in next year’s budget to implement locally, but the cost is expected to be much cheaper after a provincial framework is completed, which is expected before the end of 2021.

“Although I’m very keen to get this implemented in our city, if we’re only two months away it seems like we’d be jumping the gun ever so slightly,” said Coun. Katie Robinson.

“Give that there’s a $20,000 cost that may go with it, I'm pretty sure that if the province brings this legislation in that they would be doing a lot of this advertising and education for us so I can see some savings there so I’m prepared to wait the two months. If it drags on for six months or a year we might have to talk about it again.”

Coun. Judy Sentes was happy progress was being made on the single use plastics ban, but for the reasons mentioned by Coun. Robinson, she said it’s a good idea for Penticton to wait another two months.

READ MORE: Banning plastic bags must be done by cities — not regional districts

Coun. James Miller asked if the ban would extend to items like bacon packaging and halloween candy.

“Those are obviously one-time use,” he said. “I’m not sure how else you could wrap bacon, per se, but what about in those instances?”

Council was told municipalities actually only have the power to ban four single-use items: bags, cutlery, styrofoam containers and straws.

Vancouver, Victoria, and several other municipalities in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island have adopted a single-use plastics ban, but no communities in the Okanagan have, yet.

There was unanimous support to receive a report from the province and will consider the initiative once the province’s legal framework is developed.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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