The city of Nanaimo is reminding residents to get used to bringing their own bags when they go shopping.

The new “Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw”, which will ban plastic bags in exchange for paper and reusable ones, will be implemented on July 1st.

If a shopper is without a bag of their own, they can request a paper bag (15 cents per bag) or buy a reusable bag (1 dollar per bag).

Small paper bags used for packaging fruit, vegetables,nuts, grains, candy, frozen foods, meat, poultry, fish, or any other small, loose goods will be provided for free.

Not all plastic has been banned, as bags for bulk foods and produce and multi-packs of plastic bags are listed under the bylaw’s exemptions.

Any business caught not obeying the bylaw can face a fine of up to $50,000.

The full bylaw is available here.

The city had first proposed the bylaw in 2017, but it only received approval by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy on February 12th, 2021.