Prince Edward Island plastic bag ban: what you need to know

As of July 1, 2019, Prince Edward Island businesses will not be able to provide plastic checkout bags to their customers– this includes biodegradable and compostable plastic bags.*

The change was put into place to reduce waste and environmental damage resulting from single-use plastic checkout bags. The regulation applies to all businesses that provide checkout bags (not just grocery stores). The alternative will be to provide reusable checkout bags or paper bags at a cost to the consumer.

What you need to know:

  • Businesses will be able to provide reusable checkout bags or paper bags at a cost to the consumer (a minimum of $0.15 for a recyclable paper bag and $1.00 for a reusable checkout bag).
  • Businesses are not permitted to give out free paper or reusable checkout bags, except for small paper bags (approximately the size of a lunch bag) which may be provided at no charge.
  • The fee collected for both the paper and reusable checkout bags will be kept by businesses. It is also subject to HST and must appear on the customer receipt.
  • Exceptions:
    • Plastic bags may be used at no charge when they are used for:
    • Packaging loose bulk items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy;
    • Packaging loose small hardware items such as nails and bolts;
    • Carrying or wrapping frozen foods, meat, poultry or fish;
    • Wrapping flowers or potted plants;
    • Protecting prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged;
    • Carrying prescription drugs received from a pharmacy;
    • Transporting live fish;
    • Protecting linens, bedding or other similar large items that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag;
    • Protecting newspapers or other printed material intended to be left at the customer’s residence or place of business;
    • Protecting clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning;
    • Packaging medical supplies and items used in the provision of health services; or
    • Protecting tires that cannot easily fit in a reusable bag.

* Note: businesses may use up existing plastic bag supplies purchased prior to July 1st.

For more information you can visit the PEI Government Website or contact business resources at 1-888-234-2232 or