Update expected on Vancouver’s foam and straw ban

A report will recommend Wednesday that businesses in Vancouver have until April next year to ditch plastic straws.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Vancouver city staff will update a report next week on the single-use item reduction strategy, with a request to give small business a bit more time to find alternatives to plastic straws and foam cups.

On Wednesday, staff will present an update to council on proposed bylaws for plastic straws, plastic and paper shopping bags, disposable cups, take-out food containers and utensils.

Staff are requesting an extension for the ban on foam takeaway cups and containers to Jan. 1., 2020, with a one-year exemption for charitable organizations, and a ban on unnecessary use of plastic straws to take effect in April next year.

The extension is in response to a request from small business who say they need more time to find affordable alternatives, according to a city news release Thursday.

Bylaw details, including phasing and requirements for accessibility, will be provided in a staff report in November. Plans for phasing out plastic and paper shopping bags, disposable cups and single-use utensils following public consultation will be outlined in a report Nov. 30.

The city says plastic packaging and marine plastic pollution has emerged as a global priority. As such, staff will recommend Vancouver city council forward two resolutions for the 2019 Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention.

The resolutions will request the provincial government adopt a more comprehensive provincial single-use item reduction strategy that aligns with federal goals for reduction of plastic waste, and develop standards for compostable single-use items.

The single-use item reduction strategy was approved by council last summer.


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