Vancouver mulls ban on plastic bags, disposable cups
This 2008 photo provided by NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center shows plastic debris in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. (NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center / AP Photo)
Published Friday, February 5, 2016 4:02PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, February 7, 2016 12:09PM PST
In a bid to be the world’s greenest city by 2020, Vancouver may finally be poised to crack down on what its citizens are allowed to throw away.
City staff is preparing a report to council with options to restrict or ban Styrofoam take-out containers, single-use plastic grocery bags and disposable coffee cups. All three are cited as a major source of urban garbage.
Although Styrofoam and plastic bags are recyclable, very little of them are making their way back to the recycling depots.
“So a lot of it is just going into the landfill,” said Angie Nicolas of Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC).
Mayor Gregor Robertson said the people of Vancouver don’t want these products in their garbage anymore.
“We have tools we think we can use now,” he told CTV Vancouver.
“It's taken us years to identify our business permit process and that might be the way we can do it here in the city.”
While plastic bag and Styrofoam bans are common in large American cities, it’s not yet clear if B.C. municipalities have the legal authority to enforce them here.
“Ultimately if the province does a ban on plastic bags and other waste that we don’t want to see any more of that would be the most efficient way to do it,” said Robertson.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson