Starting July first, Nanaimo shoppers will no longer be able to get plastic checkout bags of any kind.

City Council passed its checkout bag bylaw, which had to first be approved by the province.

The city says this week’s announcement should allow time for residents to adjust habits and retailers to work through any existing stocks.

Paper bags at the checkout need to contain at least 40% post-consumer recycled content, and be labelled as recyclable. There will be a charge for those bags.

Reusable bags for sale should be washable and capable of at least 100 uses. The regulation lists exemptions, including but not limited to small paper bags, bags for bulk foods and produce, wrap for flowers, and multi-packs of plastic bags. The regulation prohibits the distribution of compostable and biodegradable checkout bags as some form harmful micro-plastics as they degrade.

The City has started an education and awareness campaign supporting residents and businesses for a successful transition. For more information, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/BYOBag.