Vancouver is joining governments and corporations worldwide banning single-use plastic straws. (Darren Staples/Reuters)

Vancouver phasing in ban on single-use plastics

Share

Joining many municipalities across the country and around the world in a battle against single-use plastics, Vancouver city council voted Wednesday night to phase in a ban on plastic bags and plastic straws.

The new rules follow a study released in July that found that more than one billion plastic bags, coffee cups, utensils and other single-use disposable items–many of which could have been recycled--clogged up Metro Vancouver’s landfills in 2018.

Under the new rules plastic and compostable plastic straws will be banned on April 22, Earth Day.

The ban on plastic bags takes force Jan 1, 2021.

More than one billion plastic bags, coffee cups, utensils and other single-use disposable items clogged up Metro Vancouver’s landfills in 2018, including some items that could easily be recycled. Plastics, flying away from landfills, eventually break down into smaller plastics that find their way to nearby waters (CBC)

“There’s 25 (million) to 30 million plastic straws disposed of every year in the city,” City Manager Sadhu Johnston told the city council on Wednesday.

“It’s a major amount of waste and a lot of it, as you know, ends up in the streets, gutters.”

Once the bylaw is implemented, businesses will be allowed to offer paper bags for 15 cents each for a year, with the fee being bumped to 25 cents the following year.

Under the new rules, food vendors in Vancouver must still provide bendable straws on request to accomodate people with disabilities.

There is also a one-year exemption for wider straws served with bubble tea to allow businesses to find alternatives.

Are plastic bags heading to the dustbin of history? We’ll see. B.C.’s CleanBC Plastics Action Plan lays out suggestions to curb plastic waste, including potential bans. (Paul Chiasson/ Canadian Press)

As of April, single-use utensils can only be given out when requested.

Vancouver’s announcement is part of the city’s single-use item waste reduction strategy that was approved last summer.

In the lead-up to the announcement, environmentalists pointed out that hundreds of other plastic items were making their way into the environment, including balloons, food containers, plastic cutlery and pieces of netting as items that also pose a risk to the environment and animals.

This week, McMaster University professor Gail Krantzberg, who studied growing plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, issued a report explaining how plastics seep into the system and issued a stark warning about the consequences.

Plastics, she told The Canadian Press, enter the Great Lakes through two primary routes: plastic bags that fly away from landfills and land in streams, eventually breaking down into smaller and smaller plastics that flow into the lakes; and through the sewer system.

The Vancouver bylaw banning plastic shopping bags would come into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. (CBC/Guillaume Aubut)

In an interview with RCI on Thursday, Krantzberg pulled no punches about the need for governments above the municipal level to take action to ban plastic bags across the country.

(In June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a proposed federal ban of “harmful” single-use plastics, which could come into effect as early as 2021.

Canada’s new Parliament is expected to focus on environment issues, but it remains unclear how hard the governing Liberals will push for a ban.)

A recent poll found that just over 80 per cent of British Columbians support a federal ban on single-use plastics, but despite the support, bans appear to be lagging across in B.C.

This month, the CBC’s Joel Ballard noted that it’s been almost two years since neighbouring Victoria, B.C.’s capital, passed a ban on single-use plastic bags but only a handful of other municipalities in the province have followed suit.

As of next April, plastic straws are a thing of the past in Vancouver. (Mark Baker/Canadian Press)

Some environmentalists, Ballard wrote, are blaming the slow progress on a lack of provincial rules.

And, according to Ballard, the ban in Victoria is not even certain, following a decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal that quashed a lower court ruling that allowed the ban.

Victoria says businesses in the city are operating as if the bylaw is in place.

Vancouver believes it can withstand any legal challenges.

With files from CP, CBC, CTV, Global

Share
Categories: Economy, Environment, Health, Politics, Society
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette
When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*