British Columbia

Vancouver votes to ban plastic straws, foam cups and containers by June 2019

Council voted to bring in a distribution ban on straws and polystyrene on June 1, 2019.

Council voted to bring in a distribution ban on straws and polystyrene on Wednesday

Drinking straws protrude from a glass in an illustration picture in Loughborough, Britain April 19, 2018. (Darren Staples/Reuters)

Vancouver has voted to ban the distribution of plastic straws as well as foam take-out containers and cups as part of its zero-waste strategy.

The ban will be introduced on June 1, 2019. 

The move is part of the city's Zero Waste 2040 strategy, which was approved by councillors in a vote on Wednesday.

Foam take-out containers and cups are also part of the distribution ban. (Shutterstock)

Council also approved a new, flexible bylaw to reduce the amount of disposable cups, as well as plastic and paper shopping bags handed out across the city.

Under the bylaw, a statement said, businesses must choose one of the following options:

  • No distribution of disposable cups or plastic/paper shopping bags at all.
  • Charging an extra fee for disposable cups or plastic/paper shopping bags.
  • Other solutions that will be proposed and finalized through consultation.

A statement said the city will bring in an outright distribution ban on single-use bags and cups if the reduction plans don't lead to the city reaching its target reduction rate by 2021.

A woman drinks a McDonalds refreshment with a straw in Loughborough, Britain April 19, 2018. (Darren Staples/Reuters)

The city said it plans to invest in education to support small businesses "as they transition to using more sustainable packaging materials."

A statement said 2.6 million plastic-lined paper cups and two million plastic bags are thrown in the garbage in Vancouver every week. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?