Reducing Single-Use Plastic Bags

At the Monday, December 10, 2018 Regular Meeting Council directed staff to prepare a report that includes a draft bylaw, a recommended stakeholder engagement process and a draft communication plan for the prohibition of single-use plastic shopping bags in the City of Salmon Arm, to be implemented in conjunction with the proposed July 1, 2019 curbside organic pick-up program.

The staff report was brought forward to the February 25, 2019 Regular Council Meeting, where Council directed staff to proceed with the engagement process. Please see the staff report and draft bylaw (PDF).

What does the bylaw propose and what does this mean for me? 

The bylaw is proposed to come in to effect July 1, 2019. There will be a six month transition period allowing businesses to use their existing plastic bag stock and source reusable bag options before the bylaw comes into full force January 1, 2020.

Should the bylaw be adopted, consumers must be asked if they require a bag and if so provided a paper bag or reusable bag at a fee. The minimum fees proposed in the bylaw are 15 cents per paper bag and $1 per reusable bag; increasing to 25 cents and $2 after the six month transition period (i.e. January 1, 2020).

The bylaw provides exemptions for many items where a reusable bag would not be suitable; including the packaging of bulk items, frozen food, meats and poultry, flowers, large items that require protection and cannot fit in a reusable bag, etc. Further exemptions may be considered in the future.

The Bylaw defines a reusable bag as a "bag with handles that is for the purpose of transporting items purchased by the customer from a business and is: 

(a) designed and manufactured to be capable of at least 100 uses, and

(b) primarily made of cloth or other washable fabric"

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions from Residents/Consumers (PDF)

Questions from Businesses (PDF)

What's Happened To Date

December 10, 2018 (PDF)

  • Council directed staff to prepare a staff report and draft bylaw on the regulation of single-use bags. December 10, 2018 Minutes.

February 25, 2019 (PDF)

  • Council reviewed the staff report and proposed bylaw and directed staff to proceed with the engagement process. February 25, 2019 Minutes.

February 2019

  • Phase I: Engagement kick-off event with local stakeholders (with letters from the Mayor to local retailers)

March 2019

  • Meetings with industry representatives, advocacy groups, and local businesses (by invitation from the City)

April 8, 2019

April 23, 2019

May 13, 2019

  • First and second readings of bylaw

May 27, 2019

  • Public Hearing and third reading

June 10, 2019


City of Salmon Arm
Email Reusable Bags

The Retail posters have been developed to help businesses educate their staff and customers about Salmon Arm's Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw. Print off any or all of the three posters for use in your retail location.

The City's current focus is on developing education and awareness related to the bylaw.  The City will continue to work with retailers to promote compliance.

Retail Posters