Single Use Plastic Bag Ban - Invermere

Wildsight member Stephanie Van de Kamp is presenting a request to Invermere Town Council on June 14, 2022  to enact a bylaw to ban single use check out bags in Invermere. If you would like to support this request, please consider writing your own letter to Council in support of this bylaw.

You can submit letters to Council through their online portal.


Dear: Mayor and Council

Re: Requesting a Bylaw Banning Single Use Plastic Checkout Bags in Invermere

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my request for a ban on single-use plastic bags in Invermere at the upcoming
meeting on June 14, 2022.

Thirty four communities in BC have passed bylaws or are in the process of doing so, the latest being The City of Fernie, on February 22, a town similar in population and lifestyle to Invermere. The Provincial Ministry of Environment is fully supportive and has not only removed legislative obstacles in July 2021 by giving municipalities full autonomy, but also written a ‘how-to’ for Municipalities to follow. “Communities across B.C. have made it clear they want to be environmental leaders by taking steps to ban single-use plastics,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We will continue to work with all levels of government to protect our land and waterways from plastic pollution and the harm it creates. Local governments wanted the ability to act without delay, and now they have it.”

In Canada at least 3.3 million tons of plastic waste is produced a year, of which more than 90% ends up in landfills. Plastic is now found in every level of ecosystem, it is part of the fossil record, it is in our food, it is in our every part of our physiology. The problem is not plastic in itself, to be clear, it is the sheer unmanageable quantity of plastic. In the 2018 Municipal Election in Invermere an opinion Poll asked, ‘Do you support a bylaw that bans plastic check out bags at all retail stores within Invermere?’ Nearly 70% of respondents voted in favour of a ban on plastic bags (727 of1,042).

In 2019, there was a petition calling on Mayor and Council of the District of Invermere (DOI) and leaders of the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) to embrace the ideals of our mountain community by implementing a comprehensive single-use plastic strategy, beginning with a bylaw banning single-use plastic bags – the petition received 1073 signatures. At a subsequent presentation to Invermere Council in December 2019, Council decided not to take action. They stated they had other priorities and limited staff time. There were also concerns about how this bylaw would impact retailers. While Provincial and Federal levels of government have plans to manage plastic waste it will be at least three years before such legislation has any impact on the local level. Creating a bylaw in Invermere now will make it easier to continue already established practices when provincial and federal mandates are imposed. According to Clair Lloyd, Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry of Environment, municipalities can enact bylaws relatively quickly compared to other levels of government. Most importantly, acting now will prevent hundreds of tons of needless plastic ending up in our landfill. Creating a ban on single-use plastic bags in a powerful step in the right direction for this community that identifies itself with a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for nature. People come here from all over the world to experience the landscape we love. I encourage council to have the leadership and vision which will only guarantee a legacy they can be
proud of.

Stephanie Van de Kemp | | 250-341-7366

Please refer to the following links for further information:
Provincial government guide to plastic bylaws
BC Single Use Bylaw Updates: Retail Council of Canada; bans in BC
Example Bylaws in BC: Richmond, Vancouver, Surrey, Saanich, Esquimalt, Nanaimo, Victoria, Tofino, Rossland, Revelstoke
Contact for Clair Lloyd, MSc, Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –