Infographic of single-use items.

Information for residents

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Get a single-use item by-law toolkit

Educational toolkits are available for businesses, charities, and not-for-profits to inform staff and customers of the by-law requirements.

Getting ready for the new cup and shopping bag by-laws 

What's changing?

Starting January 1, 2022, in Vancouver:

  • There is a minimum $0.25 fee for each disposable cup.
  • Plastic and compostable plastic shopping bags are banned.
  • There are fees for paper (minimum $0.15) and new reusable shopping bags (minimum $1).

What can you do?

Bring your own bag and cup to avoid the fees and reduce single-use item waste.

You can also ask for a reusable cup and have your drink to stay. 

What happens to the fees?

Businesses keep the fees from cups and shopping bags. We encourage businesses to use the revenue to help cover the cost of complying with the by-laws and invest in reusable alternatives.

Why now?

The start date for the cup and shopping bag by-laws, originally scheduled for January 1, 2021, was postponed a year due to COVID-19. In spite of the delay, we remain fully committed to reduce waste and litter from single-use items and provide support and education to residents, businesses, and not-for-profits in making these changes.

Reducing plastic waste and pollution, even during the pandemic, is important and possible. We have ensured these by-laws align with the latest public health guidelines to protect the health and safety of residents, businesses, and their staff.

For more details on all the single-use item by-laws, see below.

Shopping bags

Starting Jan 1, 2022: Plastic and compostable shopping bags are banned, and fees are charged on paper and new reusable shopping bags. 

Bring your own bag to avoid the fees and reduce waste.

In 2018, about 89 million plastic shopping bags and 4 million paper shopping bags were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver.

Cups

Starting Jan 1, 2022: A minimum $0.25 fee is charged on single-use cups. 

To avoid the fees and reduce waste, bring your own cup for drinks to go, or ask for a reusable cup for drinks to stay.

In 2018, about 82 million single-use cups were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver.

Plastic straws

Plastic straws are banned, except flexible plastic straws which are available for those who need them.

Skip the straw if you don’t need one. If you do need one, just ask.

In 2018, about 31 million plastic straws were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver. On top of that, an unknown number of plastic straws were littered in the natural environment.

To the best of our knowledge, Vancouver's by-law sets the highest standard for accessibility among plastic straw bans while also working to reduce the majority of plastic straw waste.

Utensils

Single-use utensils can only be provided upon request or at self-serve stations.

Help us stop utensil spam! When dining in, taking out or ordering food online, ask for single-use utensils only if you need them. 

In 2018, 103 million single-use utensils were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver.

Foam cups and foam take-out containers

Foam cups and foam take-out containers are banned.

Only 6% of Vancouver residents reported that they bring foam to a recycling depot.

As a result, the majority of single-use foam cups and foam take-out containers are not recycled but instead are sent to landfill.

Complying with the by-laws

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