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Vancouver's 25-cent single-use cup fee will be eliminated May 1

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Businesses in Vancouver will no longer be required to charge a fee for single-use cups as of May 1, a move that reverses a decision by the previous city council.

A statement from the city Tuesday says the 25-cent fee will be repealed along with the requirement for businesses to accept customers' clean reusable cups.

However, it says businesses are still encouraged to accept reusable drinking cups and offer discounts to customers who bring their own.

The fee took effect at the start of last year as part of a strategy to reduce waste from single-use items.

The city's statement says staff are to report back to council by the end of the year with recommendations for alternative policies to help reduce single-use cups.

The motion to scrap the fee, put forward by Coun. Rebecca Bligh, says it did not result in a shift in consumer behaviour and came with negative consequences, including “equity impacts” on vulnerable people.

The city says staff will take steps in the coming weeks to inform businesses and other stakeholders of the changes coming May 1.

It says the changes do not affect existing bylaws for single-use shopping bags, straws, utensils and foam containers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2023.

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