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Nanaimo’s ban on plastic checkout bags now in effect

City bylaw bans plastic checkout bags, mandates minimum charge for paper bags
Nanaimo’s new plastic checkout bag ban comes into effect Thursday, July 1. (Black Press file photo)

The City of Nanaimo is reminding residents that they should “BYOBag” when they shop from now on.

A new bag bylaw comes into effect today, July 1, banning plastic checkout bags and setting mandatory minimum charges for paper bags.

The city issued a press release this week reminding residents of the bylaw and encouraging them to bring reusable bags when shopping.

Local businesses are not permitted to provide plastic bags at checkouts, and must either sell paper bags for at least 15 cents or reusable bags for at least $1.

The city release notes that for the bylaw to have the desired favourable impacts on the environment, “reusable bags need to be looked after and reused as many times as possible – generally, at least 100 uses per bag.” The city encourages shoppers to remember their reusable bags when shopping and to avoid buying excess reusable bags.

“The extreme number of [plastic checkout bags] around our planet has become a global problem,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog in the release. “In the same way we’ve adjusted to become a mask-wearing society, we’ll soon be well-practiced at remembering our reusable bags.”

There are numerous exceptions to the bylaw; for example, shoppers will still be able to use plastic bags for bulk goods and produce, and plastic bags can be used to keep newspapers dry.

For more information, visit

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