VANCOUVER -- At the start of 2020, Vancouver will become the first city in the country to ban foam.

The city says the ban will restrict businesses from serving prepared food and drinks in plastic foam cups and foam take-out containers.

In November, the city launched a toolkit for businesses to help them prepare for a foam-ban bylaw.

Most foam cups and takeout containers end up in the landfill, while remnants are often found in shoreline cleanups and littered throughout green spaces, the city said.

"(Foam) was developed in the 1940s as a lightweight simple plastic that retained heat and was easy to use and easy to store," said Ian Tostenson, president of the BC Restaurant Association.

He said most restaurants are prepared for the new rules, which take effect Jan. 1.

At the Babylon Café on Denman Street, owner Asalwan Fadhooli said the new packaging will cost him 30 per cent more, but that it's a small price to pay to keep environmentally-conscious customers happy.

"It's not a big deal if I pay an extra 5 cents or 7 cents per box ... No problem," he said.


A previous version of this article, and an attached report, incorrectly referred to foam products as "Styrofoam."