Strategy background: how we got here

In Vancouver, 86% of residents see the importance of reducing single-use items.

Single-use item waste is generated in staggering amounts and is a significant component of street and shoreline litter.

Despite their convenience, these items:

  • Cost Vancouver taxpayers about $2.5 million per year to collect from public waste bins and to clean up as litter in our parks, streets, and green spaces
  • Are often not recycled or composted
  • Take up valuable space in our landfill
  • Have a lasting impact on our environment long after being used for a short period of time
  • Require a significant amount of resources to produce

Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy

With your help, we've created a strategy to dramatically reduce waste from single-use items.

Impact in Vancouver

Paper cups
million thrown in the garbage per week
Plastic shopping bags
million thrown in the garbage per week
Take-out containers and disposable cups
of garbage in public waste bins


  • Feb 2016

    Council directs staff to report back on regulatory options

  • Oct 2016

    Phase 1 consultation

    How to address regulations in Zero Waste 2040

  • Jun 2017 to Feb 2018

    Phase 2 consultation

    Actions to include in a strategy

  • Mar to Apr 2018

    Phase 3 consultation

    Finalize draft strategy

  • Jun 5, 2018

    Strategy approved by Council

  • Jan to Apr 2019

    Phase 4 consultation

    By-law details and implementation plans

  • Apr 29, 2019

    Council adopted by-law to ban foam cups and foam containers

  • Nov 2019

    By-law requirements for straws, shopping bags, cups, and utensils presented to Council

  • Jan 1, 2020

    Ban on foam cups and foam take-out containers begins

  • We are here
  • Apr 22 2020

    Ban on plastic straws with requirements for accessibility and disposable utensils by-request only begin

  • Jan 1, 2021

    Ban on plastic and compostable plastic shopping bags, fees on disposable cups, and fees on paper and reusable bags begin


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