The City of Vancouver is finally tightening restrictions on a number of environmentally-damaging single-use containers. As of January 1, 2019, foam containers will be banned in Vancouver. More specifically, polystyrene containers which you'll often see with your sushi takeout.

According to Business In Vancouver, when this mandate comes into effect, restaurants can be fined up to $250 for being found in violation. To help with the transition, the city will soon be working closely with restaurants to help suggest alternatives for the foam containers. We don't know about you, but we're curious what these alternatives might look like.

Beyond the foam ban, it looks like plastic straws will be the next to go. Last year, the city’s council voted to ban plastic straws beginning in June of this year. However, they pushed the deadline back to April 2020, according to CBC News. A final vote to officially confirm the ban will likely take place this November.

Back in June of this year, Justin Trudeau announced a Canada-wide ban on single-use plastics like straws and bags by 2021, according to NBC News. Canada may be heading in that direction already but there’s no reason Vancouver can’t be ahead of the curve.

Though, there is one specific type of business in Vancouver that is especially concerned about the banning of plastic straws: bubble-tea shops. British Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association CEO Ian Tostenson told Business in Vancouver that bubble-tea business owners are worried about finding suitable straw alternatives for their specialty drinks.

Apparently, their concerns have been heard and the city is considering giving them an exception from the ban according to the Vancouver Courier. Vancouver is a city completely obsessed with bubble tea, so we want to keep these beloved vendors happy.  

Some businesses are resisting the pending plastic bans while others are jumping on the cause ahead of the mandates. Whole Foods Market has already phased out plastic bags, now only offering paper bags, and Sobeys Inc. plans to follow suit next year.

It is confirmed by the City of Vancouver that foam containers will be banned as of January 2020, and we’ll be receiving confirmation regarding straws this fall. No matter what the city decides, the country plans to put its foot down in the next couple of years.

It may be inconvenient at first, but we might as well get our reusable containers ready and get in the habit so we can all ditch plastic. Companies like Starbucks have already been introducing new methods to reduce and hopefully one day eliminate single-use plastic waste.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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