Vancouver’s plastic bag ban and single-use item fees start Saturday

The city of Vancouver’s ban on plastic bags and fees begins on Saturday.

Starting Jan. 1, businesses will no longer be allowed to offer plastic bags and they will be required to charge fees for paper bags and single-use cups.

A ban on foam, straws and single-use plastic utensils was introduced in 2020.

In a news release Friday, city staff said the ban includes plastic shopping bags made from fossil fuels, plastic bags labelled or described as compostable or degradable, and plastic bags made from plants or other biological materials.

Businesses are required to charge a minimum of $0.15 for a paper shopping bag, $0.25 for a single-use cup, and $1.00 for a new reusable shopping bag. The companies keep the fees but they are encouraged to use the extra money to comply with new environmental laws or invest in renewable alternatives.

The city is urging shoppers to always bring their own reusable bags when they shop to avoid paying bag fees and to reduce single-use waste.

Bringing your own bag is allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to BC Centre for Disease Control guidelines.

Vancouver is not the only city to bring in plastic bag bans. Surrey, Nanaimo, Rossland and Esquimalt have similar bans as do Victoria, Richmond, Saanich, Tofino and Ucluelet.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

—with a file from The Canadian Press

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