Single-use plastic bag ban

The Plastic Bags Reduction Act takes effect on 30 October 2020. That means businesses will no longer be able to provide single-use plastic shopping bags at the checkout.

We’re banning single-use plastic bags to encourage waste reduction at the source and to help keep plastic out of our environment and landfills.

The law applies to all businesses, not just grocery stores.

Alternative bags

Businesses can offer reusable bags to their customers, or ask them to bring their own. This is the best way to protect our environment.

Businesses can also choose to provide paper bags. We don’t have any rules around what type of paper bag to offer, but we encourage you to pick bags that are made from at least 40 per cent post-consumer recycled paper.

Businesses aren’t allowed to provide bags made from biodegradable or compostable plastic. These bags contaminate recycling streams and don’t decompose properly in compost facilities.
Businesses can decide whether to charge a fee for the bags they provide, and what they do with the money.

Exceptions to the ban

Businesses can still provide plastic bags for:

  • loose bulk items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy
  • food or baked goods that aren’t pre-packaged
  • small hardware items like nails, nuts and bolts
  • frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish, whether it’s prepacked or not
  • prescription drugs from a pharmacy
  • products that can’t fit in a reusable bag
  • transporting dry cleaning
  • packaging medical supplies andhealth services
  • wrapping flowers or potted plants
  • protecting tires
  • transporting live fish

Contact

If you need more information about the plastic bag ban, contact SWRM@novascotia.ca

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