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

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

1954-built trolleybus hits Vancouver roads for 70th anniversary

TransLink to offer free rides on a retrofitted electric trolley bus to commemorate anniversary

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Langley teacher who screamed at, grabbed elementary students suspended

This is the second four-month suspension for the Langley teacher.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Fredericton widow swears at Trudeau during condolence call

Widow of man killed in Fredericton shooting says she swore at Trudeau during condolence call.

Most Read