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

Penticton council sends housing project back to drawing board

B.C. Housing had proposed 52 units of modular housing for the corner of Green Avenue and Main Street

Nine properties in Twin Lakes under evac order

RDOS concerned about a possible breach in Twin Lakes flood armouring

Okanagan jail likely driver of region’s violent crime hike

South Okanagan-Similkameen’s top cop says violent crime happening in jail, not after inmates released

Penticton council green lights sharps disposal inquiry

City staff will help an ad-hoc committee refine a list of locations for sharps disposal bins

They came for a good time on Shuswap Lake

Trooper plays for hundreds on Shuswap Lake this past May Long weekend

MLA pushing province and pharmaceutical to save Vernon woman

Cystic fibrosis patient can’t afford $20,000/month medication she needs to survive

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Most Read