Plastic straws

Council has approved April 2020 as the start date for a ban on the use of all plastic straws, with requirements for accessibility.

Staff will present the full details of a proposed by-law, who it applies to, phasing and enforcement plan to Council on Nov 27, 2019.

Get information on:

Proposed by-law details

Suggested alternatives

We encourage food vendors to adopt new practices like:

  • Eliminating straws, except where needed for accessibility
  • Switching to reusable straws, working with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure reusable straws are properly sanitized
  • Where single-use straws are necessary, choosing materials that can be composted in our Green Bin program

Choose compostable paper straws, if needed

Accepted in the Green Bin: 

Paper straws that are not lined with any type of plastic

Not accepted in the Green Bin:

Plastic straws of any type, such as:

  • Plastics made from petroleum
  • Plastics made from plants or other biological materials (bioplastics)
  • Oxo-degradable plastics
  • Biodegradable plastics
  • Compostable plastics
  • PLA (polylactic acid)
  • Plastics mixed with plant fibres or other materials
  • Paper straws lined with any type of plastic

Why degradable and compostable plastics are included in the plastic straw ban

We’re consulting on a proposed by-law that would prohibit food vendors from giving out all types of plastic straws (with the exception of paper-wrapped bendable plastic straws to be provided when a customer asks for one for accessibility).

The reason we are considering banning all types of plastic straws is because all plastic — even plastic that is labeled biodegradable or compostable — is considered a contaminant in the compost process.

Under provincial regulation, no type of plastic is an acceptable material for composting in compost facilities in British Columbia. Plastics are also not accepted in our Green Bin program.

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