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Vancouver Approves New By-Law To Ban All Single-Use Plastics

Vancouver is banning single-use plastic items

Photo: Magda Ehlers

The City of Vancouver approved new by-laws Wednesday, targeting single-use items like plastic bags, disposable cups, utensils, and plastic straws.

“We have heard loud and clear that reducing waste from single-use items is important to residents and that bold action is needed,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart in a release.

Stewart added that the bylaw is a step toward the City’s 2040 goal to reduce waste.

RELATED: All 197 BC Liquor Store Locations Are Ditching Plastic Bags For Paper Bags

“We’re hopeful to see harmonized leadership from the Province that will further protect our shorelines and parks and encourage lasting behaviour change,” he said.

The by-law won’t just reduce items made from plastic, but many types of single-use items.


The Plan To Reduce Single-Use Items

Starting January 1, 2020, Vancouver will ban the use of foam cups and foam take-out containers.

Then by April 22, 2020, a ban on plastic straws will come into effect. But food vendors must provide plastic bending straws, wrapped in paper, to customers who ask for it, on account of accessibility.

There is a one-year exemption for bubble tea plastic straws, to give time for the market to find another option.

By January 1, 2021, the by-law will ban plastic and compostable plastic shopping bags, with fees for paper and reusable bags.

The minimum fee will be 15 cents per paper bag and one dollar per reusable bag.

And by January 1, 2022, that will increase to 25 cents per paper bag and two dollars per reusable bag. By then, there will also be a minimum 25 fees for disposable cups.

For more on how Vancouver is becoming more eco-friendly, see what Tofino and Ucluelet is doing to help. This is all in preparation for the country’s 2021 goal of banning single-use plastics.

For more local Metro Vancouver news, read our News section.


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