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

Sandelin scores twice as Penticton Vees defeat West Kelowna Warriors

Penticton Vees bounced back to defeat the West Kelowna Warriors in second of home-and-home series

Truck, trailer stolen from Keremeos area

Last week a truck was stolen, later recovered, and a trailer was also taken.

Okanagan mentor awarded national Coach of the Year

Penticton’s Rob Kober was named the Jack Donohue Coach of the Year

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Summerland wineries turn on the lights

Bottleneck Drive offers 8th annual Light up the Vines

Your weekday weather update

Flurries and more rain anticipated for the Okanagan - Shuswap

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

EU divorce deal in peril after two UK Cabinet ministers quit

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Northern California fire death toll at 56; 130 missing

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 to the north of Paradise.

Canfor to buy 70 per cent stake in Swedish Vida Group for $580 million

The privately held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.

Most Read