Provincial government outlines what businesses need to know about the Plastic Bag Reduction Act
Bill No. 114, the Plastic Bag Reduction Act received Royal Assent on June 12, 2018 and will come into force on July 1, 2019. The intent of the Act is to reduce waste and environmental damage resulting from single-use checkout bags, by incenting the shift to reusable bags.
We encourage all businesses to become familiar with the requirements under the Plastic Bag Reduction Act (copy attached). Here is some of what you need to know:
- The Plastic Bag Reduction Act comes into force on July 1, 2019.
- The Act prohibits a business from providing plastic checkout bags to customers.
- The Act prohibits the use of biodegradable or compostable checkout bags, as they are currently a contaminant to both the recycling and compost streams.
- A business may provide a customer with a paper bag or a reusable checkout bag.
- A business is required to charge a minimum of $0.15 for a paper checkout bag.
- A business is required to charge a minimum of $1.00 for a reusable checkout bag.
- A business will retain the fee collected for both the paper and reusable checkout bags.
- The fee is subject to HST.
- A business is prohibited from providing free paper or reusable checkout bags, except for a “small paper bag” (15cm by 30cm = 300sq cm) that may be provided at no charge.
- Paper bags must be recyclable.
- Some limited exemptions are provided for loose items, food safety, medications, dry cleaning or some bulk items (please refer to sub-section 5 of the Act for list of exemptions).
- A business may use up existing bag supplies purchased prior to the coming into force of the Act.
- On January 1, 2020 the fee for a paper bag will increase to $0.25 per bag.
- On January 1, 2020 the fee for a reusable bag will increase to $2.00 per bag.
We encourage all businesses to review their obligations under the Plastic Bag Reduction Act (copy of the Act is attached) to ensure they have the appropriate inventory of checkout bags on July 1, 2019.
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