Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw

Reducing single-use plastic bags

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has granted approval to Esquimalt’s Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw No.2953. This bylaw will require retailers to charge for checkout bags in the municipality and will ban most use of plastic checkout bags.

The bylaw has not yet been approved by council as it will go on the agenda later this spring. When approved, the bylaw will not be in effect until 60 days after it receives final approval from Esquimalt Council.  Feedback can go to [email protected].

The bylaw would:

  • prohibit a business from selling or providing a customer with a plastic checkout bag (see exemptions);
  • require a business to charge for both paper and reusable checkout bags; and
  • require that a paper checkout bag contain at least 40% of post-consumer recycled paper content and that it also display the words “recyclable” and “made from 40% post-consumer recycled content” (or other applicable amount) on the outside of the bag.


Our frequently asked questions page addresses many common inquiries.

Feedback and next steps

Residents and businesses were invited to take our short survey to help guide how the bylaw is implemented and timelines. The results were used to inform council. 

The bylaw mirrors the bylaw passed by the City of Victoria in January of 2018 and the proposed bylaws in the District of Saanich and City of Colwood.