New resources to help Vancouver businesses comply with single-use item rules

Published February 6, 2020

New resources are now available, and in the works, to help businesses in Vancouver comply with the city’s new rules on single-use items.

How to prepare for the straw by-law

Effective April 22, 2020, the City of Vancouver’s plastic straw by-law will ban plastic straws city-wide and require all food vendors to stock flexible plastic straws individually wrapped in paper (for accessibility). More details:

  • The city-wide ban on all other plastic straws includes plastic that is labeled or described as compostable, degradable, or made from plants or other biological materials.
  • Accessibility requirement: all licensed food vendors are required to stock flexible plastic straws, individually wrapped in paper to ensure that customers who are unable to drink without a straw, or have difficulty drinking, can safely consume beverages and nutrition.
  • Any customer who asks for a flexible plastic straw, individually wrapped in paper, should receive one. People are not required to provide any medical information to prove their need — and they should not be asked.

Further details on the City of Vancouver’s plastic straw by-law are now available at vancouver.ca/straws.

The City’s website has also been updated to include:

  • A list of suppliers that stock flexible plastic straws individually wrapped in paper; and
  • An application form for the “Bubble Tea Straw Exemption” (only available for businesses who serve bubble tea).

The City of Vancouver encourages businesses to order their stock of flexible plastic straws individually wrapped in paper as soon as possible to ensure they are prepared to comply with the plastic straw by-law, which takes effect April 22, 2020.

Toolkits for businesses — coming soon!

To help businesses comply with all single-use item by-laws and inform their staff and customers of the changes, toolkits and a public campaign will launch this winter/spring. Toolkits will include a by-law guide, posters, till toppers / tent cards, graphics for social media, videos and FAQs. The by-law guide and FAQs will be translated into Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Filipino (Tagalog).

More information

For more information visit vancouver.ca/reduce-single-use or contact singleuseitem.bylaws@vancouver.ca.

You can also get in touch with Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada, at mark@restaurantscanada.org.

Marlee Wasser

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