Head Cashier Jill Austin and Ferraro’s owner David Ferraro show one of their soon-to-be-collector’s-items plastic bags. The store is phasing them out by the fall. (Photo by: John Boivin)

Rossland businesses ready as plastic bag ban looms

Storeowners say the transition shouldn’t be too jarring for them

Businesses in Rossland say they’re ready to change as the city prepares to pass its ban on single-use plastic bags.

“Right now we’re at the start of it,” says David Ferraro of his grocery store’s transition. “We haven’t ordered any more plastic bags, and we have new paper bags sitting in the warehouse in Trail.

“I am trying to get rid of my old plastic bags before I introduce the paper bags.”

Next Monday, Rossland’s city council is expected to give final approval to a bylaw to ban single-use bags from stores within city limits.

SEE: Bylaw banning plastic bags introduced to Rossland council

Providing a check-out bag except as allowed in the bylaw, providing a bag when the customer didn’t want one, or refusing to use a customer’s reusable bag, all carry a $100 fine per offence. It’s about half that for individuals violating the bylaw.

Businesses can be charged up to $10,000 for repeated violations of the bylaw, individuals up to $500.

“It’s a long time coming, I think it is fantastic,” says Bonny Kavaloff of Nature’s Den Health Store.

“I am very much for it.

Most other stores canvassed by the Rossland News said they were ready to make the transition too. Some already re-use plastic bags, others use paper or biodegradable bags already.

Most said locals already come to their shops with reusable bags. And recently, Grade 3 and 4 students from Rossland Summit School held a drive to collect reusable cloth bags. They washed them and distributed them to most stores downtown.

“The ‘take a bag/leave a bag’ will help a lot, it’s great,” says Alicia Graham of the Bombshack. “The cost for me to buy a ton of fabric bags, when I’m not a large company, would be too much. I am not buying a thousand bags at a time.”

But far and away the largest transition is for the Ferraro Foods grocery store. And they are bearing the brunt of the cost of the bylaw.

“Oh boy, is it costing a lot of money,” says Ferraro wryly. “A paper bag costs me 16 cents. A plastic bag, 1.9 cents.

“There’s a huge benefit, and I believe in the ban. I believe we have to start somewhere and this is one place we should start, getting rid of plastic bags.

“But we’ll have to charge for it, and that’s something I didn’t believe in before. But I’m going to have to pass on some of my cost to the consumer.”

It may not seem like much per bag, but over the course of the year it can really add up. And Ferraro notes his competitors in Trail — he’s making the transition at the store down there too — will have an economic advantage over him.

But disposable bags aren’t the only target in Ferraro’s sights. He’s looking for ways to reduce packaging everywhere.

“We’re looking at the produce department, my brother is trying to get away from Styrofoam in the meat department,” he says.

“It’s coming closer. He has three sizes of trays that work now. One is made out of recyclable plastic, another is fibre/pulp formed. Were trying to find more of that.”

Ferraro says by September, he’ll have used the last of the palets of plastic bags in his store

There are a few exceptions to the rules. Plastic bags are still permitted for nuts, candy or bulk foods, or when used to wrap frozen fish or meat, flowers, baked goods or pharmacy drugs.

Hardware store bulk items are also exempt — things like nails and bolts.

The deadline for businesses to be compliant with the bylaw is Jan. 1, 2020.

“I think the consumer is ready for it,” says Ferraro.

“There’s been a lot of press in the last couple of years. Maybe two or three years ago they weren’t. But now people can see what is happening in our oceans, and our landfills, things like that, and they are ready to make a change.”

Just Posted

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it (large or actual) to editor@trailtimes.ca

World Jr. A Challenge: Team Canada West loads up on Trail Smoke Eaters

Four Trail Smoke Eaters named to the Team Canada West roster for World Jr. A Challenge

Weather warning for West Kootenay passes

Up to 20 cm expected to fall at higher elevations

Two accidents block Hwy 3 east of Christina Lake

Fire chief: pregnant female in vehicle that rolled off the road was headed to Trail to have her baby

Trail task force recommends more needle drops

The last meeting of 2020 was held at Trail City Hall last week

VIDEO: A brief history of bumps in the Trudeau-Trump relationship

Remember Peter Navarro saying ‘there’s a special place in hell’ for a foreign leader who aims to cheat?

Man killed in crash due to ‘absolutely treacherous’ conditions on Coquihalla

Winter means icy roads are dangerous and drivers should be careful, RCMP say

Bag of cocaine left in B.C. grocery store aisle

RCMP: ‘We sure would like to talk to’ person who left drugs behind

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

The Crown is seeking four to six years federal time; the defence wants 18 months in provincial jail

RCMP officer was justified using hose in rooftop standoff: B.C. watchdog

Police watchdog finds officers actions reasonable when man injured in 2018 incident

Cannabis ice cream? Province prepares for B.C. Bud edibles

Mike Farnworth’s special police unit takes down dispensaries

Union for parole officers at B.C. halfway house says public safety at risk

Increase in parole officers’ workload dealing with highest-risk offenders raises concern

B.C. bans logging in sensitive Silverdaisy area in Skagit River Valley

Minister says no more timber licences will be awarded for the area, also known as the ‘doughnut hole’

Surrey fugitive captured in California was motivated by revenge, $160,000: court documents

Brandon Teixeira, charged with murder, wants to return to Canada ‘as soon as possible,’ says lawyer

Most Read