Discarded single-use coffee cups

Vancouver’s single-use cup by-law and cup fee repealed effective May 1

March 28 2023 –

Vancouver City Council enacted a by-law today that repeals all single-use beverage cup requirements from License By-law No. 4450 (493 KB).
Effective May 1, businesses will no longer be required to:

  • Charge a minimum of 25 cents on single-use beverage cups.
  • Report the number of single-use beverage cups when renewing their business licence.
  • Accept customers’ clean reusable cups for drinks ordered in-store.

Food vendors are encouraged to remove the cup fee from their in-store, online, and mobile point-of-sale systems, menus, and receipts by May 1.
City staff are taking steps in the coming weeks to inform businesses, residents, and other impacted stakeholders regarding this change. A letter explaining the repeal of the cup requirements will be sent to all Vancouver food vendors with information on how to get help in other languages. To help food vendors communicate these by-law changes to their customers and employees, the City will be updating posters, toolkits, frequently asked questions, and making these available online or via mail. 

The repeal of the cup requirements in License By-Law No. 4450 does not impact existing by-laws for shopping bags, straws, utensils, and foam cups/containers. 

The City encourages businesses to continue adopting reusable options to reduce single-use cup waste, including: 

  • Accepting reusable cups for all hot and cold drinks (in-store, mobile apps, and drive-thrus) and offering discounts to customers who bring in their own cup.
  • Serving drinks ordered to stay in reusable cups.
  • Offering returnable cups that customers can borrow for drinks ordered to go.

Staff will be reporting back to Council by end of 2023 with recommendations for potential policies and strategies to help reduce single-use cups.