Bin full of disposable cups

Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy

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

The Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy includes actions from now until the year 2025 to reduce waste from:

  • Plastic and paper shopping bags
  • Polystyrene foam cups and take-out containers 
  • Disposable hot and cold drink cups
  • Take-out food containers
  • Disposable straws and utensils

We all have a role to play in ensuring this strategy succeeds at reducing waste from single-use items, enabling innovation, and driving further zero-waste progress. We can’t get there alone.

Did you know?

Despite their convenience, single-use items:

  • Use a significant amount of resources
  • Are often not reused or recycled
  • Take up valuable space in our landfill
  • Impact our environment long after they're used
  • 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

Get involved

Subscribe to updates, join us at a free reuse and recycle drop-off event, and share your ideas to reduce waste and consumption.

Our priority actions

We believe the following priority actions will have the most impact in dramatically reducing waste from single-use items. Some of these actions will take time, while others can be implemented right away.

Priority actions approved by Council


  • Feb 2016

    Council directs staff to report back on regulatory options for single-use items

  • Mar-Sep 2016

    Research to identify regulatory options and other best practices

  • Oct 2016

    Phase 1 consultation

    Single-Use Item Reduction workshop

  • Dec 2016-
    Feb 2017

    Further research and analysis

  • Mar-May 2017

    Develop emerging directions

  • June 2017

    Council update and consultation launch

  • Jun 2017-
    Feb 2018

    Phase 2 consultation

  • March 2018

    Phase 3 consultation launch

    Draft strategy published for feedback

  • April 2018

    Phase 2 consultation report published online

  • June 5, 2018

    Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy approved by Council

  • Fall 2018

    Technical research in compostable package

  • We are here
  • Jan - Mar, 2019

    Consultation on bylaw details and implementation plans

  • Spring, 2019

    Bylaw recommendations presented to Council

  • June 1, 2019

    Ban on single-use plastic straws takes effect (pending Council approval)

  • June 1, 2019

    Ban on foam cups and containers takes effect(pending Council approval)

Get updates

* Indicates required fields