Friday, September 20, 2019
ADVT 
National

Vancouver May Give Businesses Breathing Room On Plastic Straw, Styrofoam Ban

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 19 Apr, 2019
  • Vancouver May Give Businesses Breathing Room On Plastic Straw, Styrofoam Ban

VANCOUVER — A ban on the unnecessary use of plastic straws and Styrofoam takeout cups and containers in Vancouver may be delayed until next year to give small businesses more time to adapt.


The city says in a news release that staff will present a report to council on Wednesday requesting a time extension and also calling for a provincial policy for dealing with single-use "compostable" items like cutlery that aren't accepted at composting facilities in British Columbia.


"Our commitment to reducing single-use items is unwavering, we're just taking the time to do the consultation to get the bylaw details right. We know that thousands of businesses are going to be affected by this change," senior project lead Monica Kosmak said in an interview.


The city launched its strategy to reduce the impact of plastic and paper shopping bags, disposable cups, takeout containers, plastic straws and single-use utensils last spring with the goal of having bans in place by June 1.


Since then, Kosmak said staff have been consulting stakeholders including food vendors and non-profits and researching plastic and foam alternatives.


The city has heard that the best way it can support businesses through the transition is by giving them more time to find convenient and affordable alternatives, she said.


The city has also learned since the zero-waste strategy was launched that compostable plastics don't break down easily.


"What we've found is that compostable plastics are not designed to biodegrade if they're littered in the natural environment on land or in marine environments," she said.


Compostable plastics are not accepted at compost facilities in British Columbia under provincial regulations. They typically take longer to break down than the facilities, which are designed to process food waste and yard trimmings, can handle, she said.


"We're hearing through the consultation that businesses are leaning toward using more compostable substitutes as an alternative but they may not be solving the plastics problem, so we're looking for the province's support to try and address this issue," she said.


The staff report recommends the city put forward resolutions at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention requesting provincial support.


The proposed resolutions would call on the province to ensure "compostable" single-use items are designed to fully biodegrade if littered in the natural environment and the items align with composting infrastructure, collection and management in the province.


They also call for a more comprehensive provincial strategy for reducing the use of disposable items that support federal goals for the reduction of plastic waste.


Kosmak said the city is also taking time to find the appropriate balance between reducing the use of plastic straws and ensuring they're still an option for people with disabilities and other health concerns. The city has previously said there won't be an outright ban on straws but a reduction in their use.


The city has learned through the consultation that a good option could see a general ban on plastic straws in place for food vendors that also requires them to keep a small stock of bendable plastic straws for those who need them, Kosmak said.


"Similar to accessible parking spots and ramps and railings, a bendable plastic straw, we're learning, is a very good tool for accessibility and very much needed," she said.


"What we're doing right now is taking time for the consultation. It's still underway, it's not complete yet, to make sure we get that detail right."


The news release says the staff report call for an extension of the start date for a ban on foam cups and take-out containers to Jan. 1 and a ban on unnecessary plastic straws to next April.


It says another report this November will provide more details on the proposed bylaws, including strategies for phasing in the rollout, education, and addressing accessibility concerns.

MORE National ARTICLES

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe To Visit Canada Next Weekend, April 27-28

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe To Visit Canada Next Weekend, April 27-28

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, when the latter visits Canada next weekend.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe To Visit Canada Next Weekend, April 27-28

Private Cargo Ship Brings Easter Feast, Canadian Treats To Space Station

Private Cargo Ship Brings Easter Feast, Canadian Treats To Space Station

A private cargo ship brought the makings of an Easter feast — as well as some Canadian-made treats — to the International Space Station on Friday, along with mice and little flying robots.

Private Cargo Ship Brings Easter Feast, Canadian Treats To Space Station

Plan Ahead For A Safe And Joyous Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade

Plan Ahead For A Safe And Joyous Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade

The Surrey RCMP is looking forward to participating in the 2019 Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade which tak...

Plan Ahead For A Safe And Joyous Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade

Environment Charities May Benefit From New Alberta Premier's Vow To Fight Them

Environment Charities May Benefit From New Alberta Premier's Vow To Fight Them

EDMONTON — Alberta's incoming premier plans to take on environmental charities that he says are blocking exports of the province's oil, but those groups may be saying "bring it on."

Environment Charities May Benefit From New Alberta Premier's Vow To Fight Them

One American, 2 Austrian Climbers Presumed Dead After Avalanche In Banff

One American, 2 Austrian Climbers Presumed Dead After Avalanche In Banff

BANFF, Alta. — Outdoor apparel company The North Face says three members of its Global Athlete Team are presumed dead after an avalanche in Alberta's Banff National Park.

One American, 2 Austrian Climbers Presumed Dead After Avalanche In Banff

Jason Kenney Talks Pipelines With Trudeau After Election Win, Calls It Cordial

Jason Kenney Talks Pipelines With Trudeau After Election Win, Calls It Cordial

"He called to offer his congratulations. We spoke for about 15 minutes," Kenney said outside Alberta's legislature building.

Jason Kenney Talks Pipelines With Trudeau After Election Win, Calls It Cordial

PrevNext