The Vancouver City Council voted on Wednesday to ban the distribution of plastic straws and polystyrene foam cups and take-out containers beginning June 1, 2019.

The City of Vancouver said it is the first city in Canada to implement such a ban, which is part of its Zero Waste 2040 strategy.

“Cities around the world recognize the detrimental impacts of plastic waste on our environment and are taking bold steps to cut down or eliminate waste through bans and innovative reusable programs,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement. “In Vancouver, we’re hearing strong support from local businesses, environmental groups, and the general public, and I’m confident that this comprehensive strategy will help us become a clean, zero-waste city.”

Take Action: Call on Governments and Business Leaders to Say No to Single-Use Plastics

On top of the ban and waste strategy, the council also approved a flexible bylaw that will help minimize the use of plastic and paper bags, as well as disposable cups.

The bylaw states that businesses can choose to no longer distribute disposable cups or plastic and paper bags, can distribute them if they charge a fee, or can create their own solutions, like incentive plans to reduce the use, according to Daily Hive.

Should these measures fail to help the city reach its reduction targets by 2021, Vancouver will consider a distribution ban on these items too.

Read More: 16 Times Countries and Cities Have Banned Single-Use Plastics

Via Twitter, the City of Vancouver said it is the first city in the world to ever approve a comprehensive zero waste strategic plan.

Approximately 2 million plastic bags and 2.6 million plastic-lined paper cups are thrown out every week in Vancouver alone, according to Daily Hive.

Vancouver is one of many cities — and even countries — taking action by banning plastics and Styrofoam in an effort to conserve the environment.

Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which include action on improving life on land, life below water, and creating sustainable cities and communities. You can join us by taking action here to call on business leaders and governments to scrap single-use plastics.


Defend the Planet

Vancouver Just Approved a Ban on Plastic Straws and Foam Containers

By Jackie Marchildon