Vancouver City Council has voted to end the city’s 25-cent single-use cup fee after receiving resounding feedback from local businesses, consumers and associations like Restaurants Canada that the fee has been ineffective in its initial goal of reducing the number of single-use cups being used. Instead, the fee made getting a warm beverage less affordable and disproportionately hurt small businesses and lower-income households more than any other demographic.
Restaurants Canada’s Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President of Western Canada has worked since the fee was implemented on January 1, 2022, to advocate for local restaurateurs and communicate the challenges this fee presents.
“The cup fee has not resulted in a reduction of demand, and our members never want to pass along new fees to their value-conscious guests, especially at a time when inflation is already raising the costs of just about everything” said Mark von Schellwitz. An unfortunate reality as Canada’s foodservice sector has seen input costs increase by 30 per cent over past year, while menu inflation has only increased by 7.8 per cent. “Our members have expressed that not only have they been met with push back from customers to the mandatory cup fee, but it has also added even more costs and red tape to restaurants still struggling to recover from the pandemic.”
Restaurants Canada applauds Council’s decision to repeal the City’s ineffective single-use cup fee and is confident that the federal plans in place to reduce and ban single-use plastics will be enough for restaurateurs to continue makeing strides in reducing plastic single-use items.
The City of Vancouver staff will now be obliged to draft a bylaw amendment by June 1, 2023 for the fee to be formally repealed. Restaurants Canada will continue to work alongside the Vancouver City Council to ensure all future bylaws take the state of the foodservice sector into consideration.