Vancouver to ban plastic straws, cups and more in 2019

Anyone with a business licence will no longer be able to provide single-use plastic items

Vancouver city council has approved a ban on plastic straws, foam containers, and other single-use items.

Anyone with a Vancouver business licence will no longer be able to provide single-use plastic items to their customers, starting in June 2019.

The move comes as part of Vancouver’s Zero Waste 2040 strategy, which aims to eliminate all waste in the city.

“This problem is decades in the making,” said Zero Waste project manager Monica Kosmack. “The cheap fast and easy sense of freedom [enabled by single-use items] is at the heart of the grab-and-go culture.”

READ MORE: Pair of pubs in Nanaimo scrap straws

A staff report found that 2.6 million disposable cups and two million plastic bags are thrown out into city garbage bins each week. Cups and takeout containers alone make up half the trash in city garbage bins.

Neither straws nor polystyrene cups and containers can be collected in curbside multifamily containers, “so foam is littered or is disposed of in the landfill,” said Kosmack.

“We’ve heard from the public that the time is now and 86 per cent of Vancouver residents are in favour of a ban.”

Another 82 per cent, she added, are willing to pay more for takeout containers if they were more sustainable.

READ MORE: White Spot aiming for the last straw

Coun. Elizabeth Ball asked staff to make sure there were exceptions for those who still needed straws, like the sick and disabled.

Affordability was a concern for Coun. Melissa De Genova.

“Not everyone can afford to be as green as they want to be,” De Genova said.

Albert Shamess, director of waste management and resource recovery said the city was working on cutting costs for businesses.

“The city is working with [businesses] to develop a broad-based procurement approach for bulk costs,” Shamess said.

“But the approach we’re trying to take for this product is that it’s business responsibility to take care of it. Picking up litter is costing us a lot of money.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

TransLink ready if West Coast Express affected by CP Rail union job action

TransLink will provide multiple buses to connect customers to SkyTrain.

Abbotsford high school teacher charged with sexual offences involving two youths

Henry Kang, 50, charged with two counts each of sex assault and sexual exploitation

TRAFFIC ALERT: Highway 1 backed up following crash

Eastbound lanes moving at a snail’s pace

Langley rep fastpitch squad goes 8-0 in White Rock tourney

The Fraser Valley Fusion 2006 rep A team took top honours in the Pride and Power Tournament.

Province has been missing in action on flood protection, experts say

Political will to improve dikes lacking, says B.C.’s former flood safety chief

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

UPDATE: RCMP on scene to remove homeless housing protesters

Residents blocking the installation of modular housing in Maple Ridge

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read