Halifax is a step closer to banning plastic bags and it could end up being close to a province-wide ban.

The municipality's Environment and Sustainability Committee wants Halifax to work with other municipalities to implement a ban on single-use plastic bags.

By this time next year, single-use plastic bags could be eliminated in Halifax and other municipalities across Nova Scotia, such as Yarmouth and Cape Breton.

Thursday afternoon, Halifax's Environment and Sustainability Committee voted on a plastic bag ban that they'll be bringing forward to council.

The committee is recommending that Halifax works with the 10 largest municipalities in the province to draft a by-law as soon as possible.

Those municipalities would represent 67 per cent of Nova Scotia's population.   Those municipalities have all agreed to follow Halifax's lead.

The recommendation to council also comes with an educational campaign on the benefits of reducing single use plastics.

Originally, last month's staff report suggested a voluntary approach to eliminating single-use plastics but that was voted down by the committee today.

Environmentalists were also part of today's conversation and several addressed the committee, agreeing a voluntary ban wouldn't work.

“People will adapt, people will adjust, and in a time of crisis, this is a realistic and attainable thing we can do,” said Kate Pepler a waste-free cafe and shop owner.

The retail council of Canada says the best case scenario for them would be a province wide-ban, where all municipalities work together.

“The worst-case scenario would be having a mish-mash across Nova Scotia similar to what we have in Quebec, where with all of the different municipal units there, there's about 17 different forms of doing a bag ban,” said Jim Cormier of the Retail Council of Canada.

For now, it looks like that's the way Halifax wants to see this pan out, but for now, it's a waiting game.

The next step is when the committee presents this to council.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.