Late yesterday evening the City Vancouver Council passed the Zero Waste 2040 Strategic Plan and the Single-use Items reduction strategy.

The summary of priority actions included the Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy policy report:

  • Same as draft strategy: Introduce a ban on the distribution of polystyrene foam cups and polystyrene foam take-out containers. (To come into effect November 1, 2019).
  • Same as draft strategy: Introduce a requirement for businesses to have reduction plans for disposable cups and plastic/paper shopping bags. (To begin in 2019-2020). 
  • Revised since draft strategy: Introduce a ban on the distribution of plastic straws. (To come into effect November 1, 2019).
  • New since draft strategy: Require disposable utensils to be given out only if customers ask for them, rather than receiving them automatically. (To begin in 2019-2020).
  • The City will also explore options to incentivize reduction and recover the costs of collecting disposable cups and take-out containers in public waste bins and as litter from the businesses that distribute single-use items.
  • There is an amendment that will also be concessions for persons with disabilities, hospitals or any facility licensed as a community care facility under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act.

Tourism Vancouver was involved with the process by hosting an information and consultation session on November 23rd 2017 at the Vancouver Aquarium. The workshop provided Members an opportunity to learn more about ocean plastics as well as the draft Single-use Items Plan and provide feedback to city staff about the draft policy. Tourism Vancouver also has a 23 year history of engagement collaboration with the Keep Vancouver Spectacular program to address the issue of litter in public spaces and streets. There also have been many Members showing leadership who have voluntarily removed items from their waste stream and signed on to the Plastic Wise Pledge in partnership with Ocean Wise, the GLOBE Forum and the Sustainable Brands Conference.

The next steps will be for staff to present the implementation plan as to how these policies will be rolled out in the next 18 months. To get more details on the strategy please follow this link for the City of Vancouver Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy.