Vancouver City Council has postponed the start of its plastic shopping bag and single-use cup by-laws until January 1, 2022 due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the foodservice industry.
The move means businesses will now have an additional year to prepare for the ban on plastic shopping bags and requirement to charge fees for paper shopping bags, new reusable shopping bags and single-use cups. That legislation was due to come into effect from the start of 2021.
Vancouver says it remains committed to reducing waste and litter from single-use items as the City looks to transform into a zero-waste community by 2040.
However, it notes, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses are experiencing significant economic challenges and are working hard to adapt to Provincial Health Officer orders, severely limiting their capacity to prepare for new regulations like the single-use item by-laws.
In preparation for the by-laws, Vancouver will continue to use outreach and education to support residents and businesses in the shift away from single-use items.
A public awareness campaign, by-law guide, and business toolkit will launch in early 2021 to encourage behaviour change and help businesses prepare for, comply with, and communicate the upcoming requirements to their staff and customers.
The federal government had previously announced its intention to ban all single-use plastics by the end of 2021.
For more information, visit vancouver.ca/reduce-single-use
Summary of Vancouver’s Single-Use Item By-laws
- As of January 1, 2020, there is a ban on foam cups and foam takeout containers.
- As of April 22, 2020, flexible plastic straws, individually wrapped in paper, must be stocked by food vendors and provided to customers when requested.
- As of April 22, 2020, there is a ban on all other plastic straws, including plastic made from fossil fuel products, and plastic that is labelled or described as compostable, degradable, or made from plants or other biological materials.
- As of April 22, 2020, single-use utensils can only be provided by request, while self-serve stations are allowed.
- As of January 1, 2022, a minimum fee of $0.25 must be charged for each single-use beverage cup distributed. Food vendors must also report to the City the number of single-use cups distributed in the past 12 months at every business location, unless they are part of a reusable cup-share program.
- As of January 1, 2022, there will be a ban on plastic shopping bags including plastic made from fossil fuel products, and plastic that is labelled or described as compostable, degradable, or made from plants or other biological materials
- As of January 1, 2022, a minimum fee of $0.15 must be charged for each paper shopping bag distributed (increases to $0.25 in 2023), paper shopping bags must contain at least 40% recycled content and be labelled as such, and business license holders must report the number of paper shopping bags distributed during the previous 12 months if requested to do so by the City.
- As of January 1, 2022, a minimum fee of $1 must be charged for each new reusable shopping bag distributed (increases to $2 in 2023), reusable shopping bags must be designed and manufactured to be capable of at least 100 uses, and business license holders must report the number of reusable shopping bags distributed during the previous 12 months if requested to do so by the City.
SOURCE: City of Vancouver