Vancouver delays ban on plastic straws and disposable food containers until 2020

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      Vancouver councillors have reaffirmed a commitment to do away with single-use plastic items, but delayed the implementation of an outright ban until 2020.

      “We’ve approved an extension on the start dates for the ban on the unnecessary use of plastic straws, foam cups, and foam take-out containers so that staff can continue to work with stakeholders, especially small businesses, to find affordable, convenient and accessible alternatives,” Mayor Kennedy Stewart said quoted in a media release.

      “We are committed to working with residents, businesses, non-profits and other levels of government to create lasting change that brings us closer to our goal of becoming a zero waste community by 2040, and in this case, it means providing stakeholders with a bit more time to adjust their business practices.”

      The ban was previously scheduled to take effect on June 1, 2019.

      In accordance with a council vote held last night (April 29), straws and similar single-use plastic items will not be prohibited in Vancouver as of April 2020.

      The city has also been working on a ban of single-use polystyrene items (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) such as cups and takeout containers. It’s scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2010.

      “Ultimately, the strategy intends to reduce waste by banning the unnecessary use of plastic straws, however, over the next few months, staff will continue working with individuals who rely on straws for accessibility and inclusion to properly structure our by-law requirements in a way that will not negatively affect people who rely on plastic straws and aligns with the City’s Accessibility Strategy,” reads an April 30 media release.

      “Further actions, such as by-law requirements, enforcement, phasing and education plans, will be announced by November 30, 2019 for plastic and paper shopping bags, disposable cups and single-use utensils following the completion of consultation with stakeholders.”

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