Canada's most profitable mall has announced a major environmental initiative coming into effect in just a few months. Yorkdale Shopping Centre is officially getting rid of single-use plastic straws at all of their retailers, restaurants and cafes. The Yorkdale plastic straw ban becomes official in October 2019.
Yorkdale is the first shopping centre in Canada to go plastic straw-free. Yorkdale is also steps ahead of the federal government, which aims to ban single-use plastics by 2021.
Yorkdale says that instead of plastic straws, "shoppers will still be able to receive straws that are BPI certified, meaning they are compostable."
When it comes to environmental efforts, Yorkdale is always innovative. Yorkdale's food court already provides reusable glasses, dinnerware and cutlery, reducing food packaging waste by 65%. The shopping centre is also powered by 600 solar panels, which contribute to their annual energy consumption. Yorkdale also has rooftop beehives and green space to support the local environment.
Months after Yorkdale's plastic straw ban takes effect, IKEA will also be phasing out single-use plastics across Canada. IKEA Canada announced recently that by January 2020, all single-use plastic items will be removed from their product lines and restaurants. By 2030, all materials used by IKEA will be renewable or recycled.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced just last month that single-use plastic bags, cutlery and straws could be included in the nationwide ban come 2021.
Many of Canada's fast-food and restaurant chains have already eliminated plastic straws. In March 2019, places like Harvey's, Swiss Chalet, Burger's Priest and The Keg phased them out entirely. Slowly but surely, Canada is finally creating significant change.