Plastic shopping bags and single-use cups land spots on the naughty list

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      (This story is sponsored by the .)

      Before circulating your holiday wish list among your family members, be sure to add “reusable shopping bags” and “reusable to-go cup”. Because once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, Vancouverites will need to change their habits when it comes to single-use plastic bags and cups.

      Starting January 1, the City of Vancouver will implement two new bylaws to reduce waste from single-use items. These new regulations will join its existing bylaws for plastic straws, utensils, and foam containers, which went into effect in 2020.

      “As a coastal city, the health of our ocean, beaches, and shoreline is vital to Vancouver,” says Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “These bylaws will reduce the waste from single-use items and help address the urgent problem of global plastic pollution.”

      Reducing plastic waste and pollution, even during the pandemic, is important and possible. The City of Vancouver has ensured these bylaws align with the latest public health guidelines to protect the safety of residents, businesses, and their staff.

      Say “goodbye” to plastic bags

      Come January 1, 2022, plastic shopping bags will be banned. This ban includes plastic bags made from fossil-fuel products and plastic that’s labelled or described as compostable, degradable, or made from plants or other biological materials.

      Shoppers must also start paying for paper and new reusable shopping bags. Businesses will be required to charge a minimum of $0.15 per paper shopping bag and $1.00 per new reusable shopping bag.

      Bringing your own reusable bag is the most eco-friendly and affordable option, and is allowed under B.C. Centre for Disease Control guidelines. Remember to keep your bags clean using the Health Canada cleaning tips on the City of Vancouver’s .

      Keep cups out of the landfill

      Starting January 1, businesses must charge a minimum of $0.25 for single-use cups. To avoid the fees and reduce waste, bring your own reusable cup. If you’re not in any rush, have your drink to stay in a glass or ceramic mug.

      Check with your favourite café to see if they’ll accept your clean reusable cup. According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, reusable cups are allowed during the pandemic if safe procedures are followed. The City worked with Vancouver Coastal Health to create “contactless cup” procedures based on ones used around the world and made them available to local businesses.

      For more information on the two new bylaws, visit