Thompson passes plastic bag ban

A Manitoba community is just days from becoming the third community in the province to ban plastic shopping bags.

A Manitoba community is just days from becoming the third community in the province to ban plastic shopping bags.

The City of Thompson, located about 750 kilometres north of Winnipeg, has passed a bylaw banning the use of non-recyclable plastic bags, commonly found at grocery stores.

The city's council has been mulling the idea for about seven years, and many people are standing firm behind the ban, said Coun. Brad Evenson.

"They are proud to say that Thompson is taking the lead on this," Evenson said. In 2007, the town of Leaf Rapids was the first in Manitoba to pass a similar law. The community of Snow Lake followed suit on Jan. 1.

Thompson's bag ban takes effect Dec. 31, but stores will be allowed to use up their existing inventory of bags.

Earlier this month, city administrators recommended fines ranging from $250 for a first infraction to $1,000 for a third or subsequent infraction by bag-ban scofflaws.

It's estimated that a traditional plastic bag takes 1,000 years to dissolve.