Horseshoe Bay Beyond Plastic Bags

Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver is striving to ditch plastic bags. Following a joint initiative between Ocean Ambassadors Canada and the Horseshoe Bay Business Association, 28 of the seaside village’s 35 businesses have switched away from single-use plastic bags in favour of offering consumers paper or reusable ones. The initiative launch was part of the annual Taste of the Bay event in Horseshoe Bay.

Visitors to Horseshoe Bay will notice the majority of businesses now sport stickers stating “This business is proudly plastic bag free!” following informal agreements that local businesses made with Ocean Ambassadors Canada.

“What we’re hoping is to get everybody using reusable bags,” said Alison Wood, co-founder of Ocean Ambassadors Canada. “We can create a lot of change by showing leadership and not waiting for legislation.”

Ocean Ambassadors Canada, with the support of Vancity, worked with each business in the community to determine how they can reduce their single-use plastic consumption and to help them to move away from offering single-use plastic carrier bags. As part of the initiative, each business was provided with a toolkit with information about single-use alternatives. Ocean Ambassadors staff team worked with the Horseshoe Bay Business Association to support businesses in switching from less expensive plastic bags to reusable bags or a paper alternative. Businesses were encouraged to educate their customers about the environmental impact of all single-use items, including paper bags, and to encourage reusable bags.

Media stories for Horseshoe Bay Initiative: