After months of public and stakeholder consultations which took place the last quarter of 2017, on March 29th the City of Vancouver released its Single-Use Item Reduction strategy report and asked stakeholders to respond to the report by April 13th. Priority actions outlined in the draft strategy include:
- Introduce a bylaw requiring reduction plans for disposable cups and plastic/paper shopping bags for businesses that use them, with a suite of choices for businesses such as:
- Distribute no disposable cups or plastic/paper shopping bags
- Distribute no free disposable cups or free plastic/paper shopping bags (and inform the customer of the cost)
- Other mechanisms that ensure a level of reduction that will be proposed and finalized through consultation
- Introduce a ban on the distribution of foam cups and fast food containers
- Introduce a requirement for food vendors to ask if customers would like a straw rather than provide them directly
- Introduce a requirement for single-use cups and containers to be recyclable or compostable when suitable standards for the cups
- Investigate options for recovering the cost of collecting single-use items through a surcharge on business licenses or other mechanisms
In addition to recommending actions on reducing single-use items, the draft strategy has also been designed to provide flexibility and choice for businesses in order to make the transition manageable, and proposes a number of secondary actions that focus on education and outreach. It also recommends support for moving toward greater standardization of waste reduction policies, such as providing support for Metro Vancouver’s work to develop a Regional Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy. Restaurant Canada members interested in the reading the full report can access it here Download Report or visit the www.vancouver.ca/zerowaste website.
Restaurants Canada actively participated in the 2017 consultation process and provided the City with an initial written submission (attached – add appropriate link) supporting a collaborative approach that focuses on consumer education rather than business-focused fees and bans. Restaurants Canada also recommended that any bylaw provide business flexibility as one size fits all regulations on diverse foodservice businesses will not work. We were pleased that the City’s March 29th report included some business flexibility but a number of questions and concerns remain as outlined in Restaurants Canada’s April 13th response (Click Here). After considering stakeholder response to the March 29th report, the City plans to a present a single-use reduction bylaw for Council’s consideration on May 16th.