Single-use items, such as cups and plastic shopping bags.

City calls on all residents to get ready for new by-laws on single-use cups and shopping bags

November 30 2021 –

We are launching a public awareness campaign on the by-laws for single-use cups and shopping bags which go into effect January 1, 2022.

Starting January 1, 2022, in Vancouver the following changes will be in place:

  • $0.25 (minimum) for each single-use cup
  • Ban on plastic and compostable plastic shopping bags
  • Fees for paper (minimum $0.15) and new, reusable shopping bags (minimum $1)

Businesses are encouraged to use the fees collected to invest in reusable alternatives and to help cover the cost of complying with the by-laws.

The new cup and shopping bag by-laws are important pieces in our strategy to reduce waste from single-use items, and are added to existing by-laws for plastic straws, utensils, and foam containers that went into effect in 2020.

The campaign will appear on buses and billboards, in local newspapers, as well as on digital and our social media channels over the next several months.

Learn more about the by-laws.

Why we're targeting single-use items

More than 82 million single-use cups and 89 million plastic shopping bags were thrown in the garbage in Vancouver in 2018. Vancouver taxpayers pay approximately $2.5 million a year for the collection of single-use items from public waste bins and litter from our parks, streets, and green spaces. These items are often not reused or recycled, take up valuable space in our landfill, and have a long-lasting impact on our environment.

The start date for the cup and shopping bag by-laws, originally scheduled for January 1, 2021, was postponed due to impacts to local businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of the delay, we remain fully committed to pursuing this bold action to reduce waste and litter from single-use items while providing support and education to residents, businesses, and other organizations affected by these changes.

Learn how we’re supporting businesses, charities, and non-profits.


Mayor Kennedy Stewart

“As a coastal city, the health of our ocean, beaches, and shoreline is vital to Vancouver,” says Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “These by-laws are key components in the City’s strategy to reduce waste and litter from single-use items and help address the urgent problem of global plastic pollution.”