Plastic Bag Reduction Plan Update

Posted by John Clerides on Jul 17, 2019

Ok, I’m no expert on this, but over the past few years, I have been concerned about the amount of plastic bags this stores uses. Seeing pictures of beautiful coasts lines riddled with plastic pisses me off. Last Christmas while I was in Kauai, I went to a great little beach and on the beach there were bottle tops, shards of plastic etc, it was abysmal and disappointing.

In hopes of reducing and eliminating the use of plastic last year, we adopted a policy of charging 5 cents per bag. I am not going to pull any punches here, you wouldn’t expect any less, some fellow emailed the store saying he would stop buying wine from us. He cited - get this - the BCLDB, Holts, Tiffany’s etc that do not charge for bags. I just shook my head and laughed. Those stores make huge profits and the BCLDB is amongst the top of the list, they should be the catalyst for this.

One of the City of Vancouver’s suggestion is to charge .15 cents for paper bags, no way I can do this. We need your help. We need to reduce the amount of bags we use.

We will most likely be implementing giving Marquis Bags away when one buys four or six bottles of more, or perhaps a small discount if one brings their own bag. You could even accumulate the money saved to redeem for merchandise, sorry cant give wine away as it is against the liquor policy. Does anyone else have any other ideas?

Here is the email I received from the city:

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your continued involvement in the Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy. As you may know, in April 2019, Council asked staff to explore whether the City of Vancouver should ban plastic bags and charge fees on paper and reusable bags, similar to the City of Victoria.

You, along with all Vancouver residents, non-profit organizations, businesses and institutions are now being invited to share your perspective through an online survey on whether the City should ban plastic bags and charge fees on paper and reusable bags.

Your Turn: Take the Online Survey

The online survey is available in English and Simplified Chinese at Share your input by July 30, 2019.

Input received through the survey will inform a plastic and paper shopping bag by-law that staff will present to Council in November 2019.

A Snapshot of Plastic and Paper Shopping Bag Waste

  • Around 2 million plastic shopping bags are disposed in the garbage in Vancouver each week (approximately 63% are reused as garbage bags).
  • Plastic bags make up 3% of shoreline litter and 2% of large litter items in Vancouver streets, parks, and public spaces.
  • Paper bags make up 1% of large street litter items.
  • Plastic bags harm marine life and are made using non-renewable fossil fuels.
  • It can take anywhere from 10 to 10,000 years for a plastic shopping bag to decompose, and even then it only breaks down into small plastic pieces, causing microplastic pollution.
  • Paper bags actually cause more harmful greenhouse gas emissions over their lifetime than plastic bags because of manufacturing processes and they require more fuel because they are heavier to transport.

Remaining by-laws to be announced in November 2019

Staff will report back to Council with recommended by-law requirements, enforcement, phasing, and education plans, by November 30, 2019, for plastic straws, plastic and paper shopping bags, disposable cups, and single-use utensils following the completion of consultation with stakeholders.

For more information on the Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy, visit

Thank you for your interest in creating a made-in-Vancouver approach to reduce single-use items. To share your feedback with the project team, please email

Warm regards,

City of Vancouver Reduce Single-Use Team

Contact us here: