Surfrider Disappointed in Court Decision, Calls for BC Leadership on Single-Use Plastic Regulations

For immediate release July 11th, 2019

(British Columbia) – While today’s decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal is disappointing, it presents a call for provincial and federal action on plastic waste and plastic pollution. To date, seven municipalities in B.C. have written and implemented their own laws on plastic check-out bags. This growing patchwork of municipal laws across the province will only cause confusion.  As the Court of Appeal stated in its decision today, the bag ban bylaw has an objective that most reasonable people would endorse. We view this decision as providing support for a single-use plastic bag ban province-wide in British Columbia.

Surfrider Foundation hopes to see the B.C. government take a leadership position in Canada in eliminating plastic waste and take immediate action to fulfil the major recommendations we provided to government on May 30th, 2019. These recommendations included banning a comprehensive list of single-use plastics found on the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s Dirty Dozen:

  • Plastic check-out bags
  • Plastic straws
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Plastic coffee cups and lids
  • Plastic and foam takeaway containers
  • Plastic sauce ramekins
  • Plastic drink stirrers
  • Plastic cotton swabs

We would also like to see the federal government implement progressive and complementary measures to solve the plastic pollution crisis nationally. While the federal government has indicated that it is looking into banning single-use plastics, which includes single-use plastic bags by 2021, the province cannot wait on federal action as this depends on the outcome of the federal election in the fall. Surfrider Foundation also encourages the province of B.C. to petition the Canadian Government to build on B.C.’s leadership and take immediate national action on plastic waste and plastic pollution through complementary regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

In 2015, Surfrider Foundation released a petition that received 30,000 signatures supporting banning single-use plastic bags, as well as 172,000 signatures on SumofUs petition to support M151 requesting for a national strategy on plastics entering the oceans such as bags, bottles, and straws.

Surfrider Foundation Canada is a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground – the ocean, waves, and beaches that provide so much enjoyment for everyone. We ensure clean water, healthy ocean and coastlines and accessible beaches for all to enjoy by finding lasting solutions to the threats the ocean faces.

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Media Contacts:

Chris-Ann Lake +1 250 886 3181

Lilly Woodbury +1 250 327 1119