Vancouver votes to ban plastic straws, foam cups and containers by June 2019


Vancouver has voted to ban the distribution of plastic straws as well as foam take-out containers and cups as part of its zero-waste strategy.


The ban will be introduced on June 1, 2019. 

The move is part of the city’s Zero Waste 2040 strategy, which was approved by councillors in a vote on Wednesday.

Foam take-out containers and cups are also part of the distribution ban. (Shutterstock)

Council also approved a new, flexible bylaw to reduce the amount of disposable cups, as well as plastic and paper shopping bags handed out across the city.

Under the bylaw, a statement said, businesses must choose one of the following options:

  • No distribution of disposable cups or plastic/paper shopping bags at all.
  • Charging an extra fee for disposable cups or plastic/paper shopping bags.
  • Other solutions that will be proposed and finalized through consultation.

A statement said the city will bring in an outright distribution ban on single-use bags and cups if the reduction plans don’t lead to the city reaching its target reduction rate by 2021.

A woman drinks a McDonalds refreshment with a straw in Loughborough, Britain April 19, 2018. (Darren Staples/Reuters)

The city said it plans to invest in education to support small businesses “as they transition to using more sustainable packaging materials.”

A statement said 2.6 million plastic-lined paper cups and two million plastic bags are thrown in the garbage in Vancouver every week.