Styrofoam Ban – Information for Businesses

A city-wide ban on foam containers and cups is now in effect as of January 1, 2020. This marks a milestone in the City of Vancouver Single-Use Reduction Strategy with a goal of becoming a zero-waste city by 2040.

Details on the bylaw, including what is banned, how it applies, and suggested alternatives can be found on the City of Vancouver website. https://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/foam-ban.aspx

The timeline for implementation of the Single Use Item Reduction Strategy is as follows:

January 1, 2020

  • Ban on foam cups and foam take-out containers (approved by Council April 29, 2019)


April 22, 2020

  • Ban on plastic and compostable plastic straws with an accessibility requirement to provide bendable plastic straws wrapped in paper. 
    Food vendors must provide accessible straws (bendable plastic straws wrapped in paper) and provide them to customers, without question, upon request. A one-year exemption is provided for plastic straws served with bubble tea to allow time for the market to provide alternatives.
  • By-request requirement for single-use utensils. All single-use utensils can only be given out by request.


January 1, 2021

  • Ban on plastic and compostable plastic shopping bags, with fees on paper and reusable bag. Paper bags must contain at least 40% recycled content. Minimum fees of $0.15 per paper bag, $1.00 per reusable bag. Minimum fees increase Jan. 1, 2022 to $0.25 per paper bag, $2.00 per reusable bag.
  • $0.25 minimum fee on all disposable cups. Creates incentives for in-store drinks to be served in reusable cups, for customers to bring their own travel mugs, and for industry to develop mug share programs. Businesses can keep the fees to invest in reusable alternatives.


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