Bin full of disposable cups

Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy

What you need to know
What you need to know

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, approved by Council on June 5, 2018, was the result of extensive consultation with over 8,000 residents and hundreds of businesses.

Our approach will reduce the impact of:

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

More info

  • The upcoming bans
  • Exemptions
  • Why we're reducing the use of single-use items


Businesses and charitable food providers 


What's happening

Coming this fall: Education campaign for ban on foam cups and containers 

A public awareness, education, and outreach campaign will launch this fall to support the public, food vendors, and suppliers in the transition away from foam cups and foam take-out containers.

More details will be announced in September.

By-law details for bags, cups, and utensils

In November 2019, staff will present to Council the by-law requirements, enforcement, phasing, and education plans for:

  • Plastic and paper shopping bags
  • Disposable cups
  • Utensils 
  • Plastic straws

To stay informed on these upcoming project milestones, including our education campaign, sign up for updates at the bottom of this page.

Early adopters, make the switch early on

If you’re transitioning away from single-use items before the upcoming by-laws, we recommend:

Get tips for phasing out:

 Accessibility recommendation: bendable plastic straws should be provided to customers who request them for accessibility. These types of straws meet the widest range of accessibility needs.

Questions? Email

Upcoming by-law changes


  • Feb 2016

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

  • Oct 2016

    Phase 1 consultation

    How to address single-use items in Zero Waste 2040

  • Jun 2017 to Feb 2018

    Phase 2 consultation

    Actions to include in a Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy

  • Mar to Apr 2018

    Phase 3 consultation

    Finalize draft Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy

  • Jun 5, 2018

    Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy approved by Council

  • Jan to Apr 2019

    Consultation on bylaw details and implementation plans

  • Apr 29, 2019

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

  • We are here
  • Nov 2019

    By-law requirements for plastic straws, plastic and paper shopping bags, disposable cups, and utensils to be presented to Council

  • Jan 1, 2020

    Ban on foam cups and foam take-out containers begins

  • Apr 2020

    Pending Council approval, a ban on the unnecessary use of plastic straws begins (requirements for accessibility and exemptions for health care facilities apply

Get updates

* Indicates required fields