Vancouver has toyed with the idea of banning straws and other single-use plastic items for more than a year. Now a report going to city council on Wednesday (April 24) suggests it’s probably going to be at least another year before any prohibition on plastics takes effect.
City staff are recommending the proposed ban miss its previous launch date of June 1, 2019, and instead take effect sometime in April 2020.
That will allow the city to properly hear stakeholders’ feedback, the report notes, and give staff time to prepare an analysis of technical and legal considerations related to the proposal.
Staff are also recommending that the city ban single-use polystyrene items (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) such as cups and takeout containers.
“The Single-use Item Reduction Strategy is a complex undertaking that affects all of the food related businesses in the city,” the report reads. “Completing a fulsome engagement program that allows those affected to provide their comments and feedback, and to work with them on requirements, timing and alternatives is essential to achieving sustainable success. Additional time to complete the engagement process is needed in order to accommodate all those concerned.”
In drafting its plan, the report notes that the city is taking accessibility issues into account.
“Staff are currently consulting on proposed by-law amendments that would require businesses to provide a bendable plastic straw when requested by a customer for accessibility, but otherwise prohibit businesses from giving out plastic straws, including compostable plastic straws,” it reads. “This approach seeks to eliminate the unnecessary use of plastic straws, while ensuring an accessible and inclusive customer service experience.”
Council is expected to ask staff to report back on consultation efforts by November 2019.