Single-use plastic bag ban begins November 15

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Earlier this year, the City of Sault Ste. Marie launched a comprehensive community consultation campaign to obtain feedback from businesses and residents regarding a single-use plastics ban. As a result, by-law 2022-143, a by-law to prohibit the use of single-use plastics was created.  
Effective November 15, 2022, single-use plastic checkout bags will be banned. This includes plastic bags designed to carry purchased goods from a business and bags used to package take-out or delivered food.  
Plastic cutlery, straws, and plastic foodservice ware will be banned by February 8, 2023. Enforcement and fees of the by-law will come into effect by August 8, 2023. Penalties under this by-law include a fine of $500 and in cases of multiple offences the fine is $500 each day up to a limit of $10,000.  
Exceptions to the by-law include fruit and vegetable bags, bags for loose nuts and candy and pet waste bags. Bags used to protect clothing or linens after professional laundering or dry cleaning, medical supplies, tire protection, plastic straws in hospital, medical facilities or long-term care facilities are also exempt.  
"Single-use plastics litter land and waterways, often taking hundreds of years to break down into tiny pieces of plastics called microplastics which threaten the natural world,” says Emily Cormier, Sustainability Coordinator. “Households, businesses, schools and community organizations all play a role to reduce single-use plastics and take action to protect our environment.”  
Federal regulations are forthcoming to ban harmful single-use plastics. This regulation will focus on six items made from hard to recycle plastics including grocery bags, straws, cutlery, six-pack rings, some takeout containers and stir sticks. These items were chosen because they are often not recycled, and environmentally friendly alternatives are more readily available.  
For more information on the single-use plastics ban by-law visit the City’s single-use plastic webpage
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