City provides support for checkout bag ban

Businesses are encouraged to sign up for newsletter for further updates


The City of Nanaimo mailed out an introductory letter and brochure to businesses potentially affected by the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw 2020 No. 7283.

The bylaw is in effect on July 1, 2021. All businesses within City limits that provide checkout bags to customers will be regulated by the bylaw.

The bylaw encourages use of reusable bags by eliminating distribution of plastic checkout bags. If a customer doesn't have a reusable bag, businesses can provide a paper bag or reusable bag for a standard fee, as long as bags meet or exceed the sustainable design standards in the bylaw.

Nanaimo businesses that provide checkout bags to customers are encouraged to subscribe to the Checkout Bag Regulation Newsletter. The newsletter will provide businesses information on phasing out plastic checkout bags, preparing paper and reusable bag inventories, accessing our upcoming toolkit to inform staff and customers, along with other updates and resources.

For more information on the bylaw and to sign up for the newsletter, please go to the project page:

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo is dedicated to taking a leadership roe to protect our natural environment and municipal infrastructure.

Key Points

  • The Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw encourages use of reusable bags by regulating the distribution of plastic bags, paper bags and new reusable bags.
  • Retailers should begin preparing their paper and reusable checkout bag inventories for when the bylaw comes into force on July 1, 2021.
  • Affected businesses are encouraged to sign up for the Checkout Bag Regulation Updates e-newsletter to receive updates and resources through the transition.


"We want to ensure businesses are well supported for the July 1, 2021 implementation date. Regulating single-use bags is progress for our community and we want it to be positive transition for everyone and we encourage all businesses to sign up."

City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • 89% of Nanaimo residents thought it was important or very important to improve solid waste management of organics and reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • The average Canadian uses 400 plastic bags per year – this is the equivalent of 40 million plastic bags per year in Nanaimo alone.
  • Many plastic checkout bags are not getting reused or properly recycled through depot drop off. Instead, they end up in our landfill, and sometimes in our waterways, storm drainage systems and green spaces.


A Quick Guide to the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw
A Quick Guide to the Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw
Bring your own bags Nanaimo
Bring your own bags Nanaimo


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