Vancouver calls on residents to prepare for by-laws on single-use cups, shopping bags

THE City of Vancouver is launching a public awareness campaign on the by-laws for single-use cups and shopping bags.

Starting January 1, 2022, the following changes will be in place in Vancouver:

* 25-cent fee (minimum) for each single-use cup

* Ban on plastic and compostable plastic shopping bags

* Fees for paper (minimum 15 cents) and new, reusable shopping bags (minimum $1)

Businesses are encouraged to use the fees collected to invest in reusable alternatives and to help cover the cost of complying with the by-laws.

The new cup and shopping bag by-laws are important pieces in the City’s strategy to reduce waste from single-use items, and are added to existing by-laws for plastic straws, utensils and foam containers that went into effect in 2020.

“As a coastal city, the health of our ocean, beaches and shoreline is vital to Vancouver,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart on Tuesday. “These by-laws are key components in the City’s strategy to reduce waste and litter from single-use items and help address the urgent problem of global plastic pollution.”

The campaign will appear on buses and billboards, in local newspapers, as well as on digital and City social media channels over the next several months.

More than 82 million single-use cups and 89 million plastic shopping bags were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver in 2018. Vancouver taxpayers pay approximately $2.5 million a year for the collection of single-use items from public waste bins and clean-up as litter from our parks, streets and green spaces. These items are often not reused or recycled, take up valuable space in our landfill and have a long-lasting impact on our environment.

The start date for the cup and shopping bag by-laws, originally scheduled for January 1, 2021, was postponed a year due to impacts to local businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of the delay, the City says it remains fully committed to pursuing this bold action to reduce waste and litter from single-use items while providing support and education to residents, businesses and other organizations affected by these changes.

Learn how the City is supporting businesses, charities and non-profits.

Learn more about the by-laws.