Nfld. & Labrador

Retail plastic bags getting the boot in Happy Valley-Goose Bay as of Jan. 1

The provincial government has ban plans, but Happy Valley-Goose Bay's town council doesn't want to wait.

Town councillor Lori Dyson says the town doesn't need to wait for the provincial ban

Happy Valley-Goose Bay town councillor Lori Dyson led the initiative to ban single-use plastic bags. (Submitted by Lori Dyson)

The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay isn't waiting around for the province to enact its ban on retail plastic bags.

Instead, the community announced its own ban starting in the new year.

"We're proud to do it, and we encourage all other communities to do the same," said Wally Andersen, the town's mayor, after he made the official announcement Friday morning.

As of Jan. 1, 2020, retail establishments in the town will not be allowed to hand out plastic bags to shoppers, said Coun. Lori Dyson.

Andersen said Dyson, as chair of the economic development and public engagement committee, led the charge to ban the bags.

"It's something that obviously needs to be done. It needs to be done all over," she said, giving Nain a shout-out for being the first community in Labrador to give plastic bags the boot.

"We have to look out for the environment, and this is the common-sense step to do it."

Not going to wait for the province

The provincial government introduced legislation to ban single-use retail plastic bags in April, but there are still many details to be sorted out — like what the rules will be and how they will be enforced.

"We've been told that we don't have to wait for the province," Dyson said.

Happy Valley-Goose Bay town council will have to work out similar details, she said, but she's confident the ban will be in place by the goal date.

The town has already mailed out flyers to the general public announcing the ban and has contacted the business community to let them know, she said.

Stores in Happy Valley-Goose Bay will no longer be able to hand out plastic bags to customers as of Jan. 1, 2020. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

"At the town office, the door's always open for anybody to come in with their concerns or to ask any questions about what this process is going to be," she said.

She's expecting the process to be an adjustment, but she says the town is ready to take it on.

"We'll help the community deal with it and we'll hep the stores deal with it."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Labrador Morning

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