Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister, Gordon Wilson, introduced legislation on the opening day of the fall session of the provincial legislature that would implement a ban on single-use plastic bags in a year’s time. The delay will allow retailers and consumers time to adjust. “It’s going to change the way that we go to grocery stores; it’s going to have people thinking differently about plastics,” Wilson said at Province House after the bill was introduced. “So I’m very excited about this as an opportunity for us to move forward.”

The legislation was welcomed by environmentalists, including the Ecology Action Centre. The organization was on hand for the bill’s introduction. “Now plastic bags are a relatively small proportion of the waste stream, but when it comes to the environment and wildlife I think they have a bigger impact,” said Mark Butler, the centre’s policy director. “We’ve all seen plastic bags caught up in trees on beaches … so plastic bags can have a disproportionate impact on wildlife.”

Even retailers accepted that the move was probably inevitable given current public sentiment. “We understand that everybody has an environmental footprint,” Jim Cormier of the Retail Council of Canada told reporters. “Our members do as well and we’re working to ensure that we reduce that footprint.”

To read the full story, visit