Cities across Canada have been working hard to reduce their environmental footprint. Many are now regulating the distribution of single-use plastic items, like plastic shopping bags and straws. While plastic straws will be banned in Vancouver by 2020, the ban may not affect bubble tea straws; at least not right away. If this isn't typical Vancouver than I don’t know what is.
From participating in climate strikes to giving money back to those who recycle, Canadians are doing their part. Even the city of Vancouver is joining the effort by enforcing a plastic straw ban this spring.
According to a report posted online by the city, the ban will come into effect by April 22, 2020, which also happens to be Earth Day.
This report states that the city is recommending all plastic straws, even compostable plastic straws, be totally banned within Vancouver.
While bendy straws may be thing of the past very soon, the city is considering the idea of giving a free one-year pass to Vancouver's bubble tea shops.
In typical Vancouver fashion, bubble tea straws may be sticking around for longer than any other type of straw. Seeing as bubble tea is like its own subculture in Vancouver, this isn’t too surprising.
According to the report, the city wants to eliminate the majority of plastic straw waste. They are also looking to improve accessibility by only allowing bendable plastic straws wrapped in paper by request.
Bubble tea is a huge part of Vancouver's culture - even the city thinks so. In their report, the city stated that “many residents consider drinking bubble tea to be part of their cultural identity.”
While every straw you can think of falls under the recommended ban, the large and in-charge bubble tea straw we know and love could get special privileges.
The report recommends that bubble tea straws be exempt from the plastic straw recommendation ban for one year after the April 2020 ban.
According to the city, the recommended one-year exemption would allow bubble tea businesses time to find proper alternatives to the straws.
“Businesses that sell bubble tea drinks were among the most dependent on plastic straws and are highly concerned about impacts to their business if they cannot find ways to serve bubble tea that do not require plastic straws,” writes the report.
Along with the plastic straw ban, the city is also recommending a 25-cent fee for using disposable cups. This will come into effect on January 1, 2021.
Single-use plastics of any kind will be hard to come by in the coming years, including utensils. Unless otherwise requested, your SkipTheDishes order will no longer come with a fork and knife.
Plastic shopping bags will also be banned by January 1, 2021. Even styrofoam will become obsolete by 2020.
The report published online is set to be presented to city councillors in Vancouver on Wednesday, November 27, 2020.