The City of Vancouver has been an ambitious supporter of zero waste efforts and the National Zero Waste Council, since its founding. Now they are continuing to take a leadership position, with Zero Waste 2040 – an ambitious vision for single-use reduction and building deconstruction, inviting feedback from business to shape the overall plan, and offering circular economy incentives to foster locally-made solutions.
The strategy takes a two-pronged approach, with immediate action against single-use and disposable waste streams, coupled with longer-term solutions devised in conjunction with community and business feedback.
There was wide support during public consultation for bold action on disposable food containers and utensils. Beginning in June 2019, a ban on the distribution of polystyrene foam cups and food containers goes into effect. With the exception of some health care applications, the ubiquitous plastic straw will also be banned as part of the Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy.
Under this section of the strategy businesses will have the option of charging for disposable cups or not offering them. They are also invited to participate in the ongoing consultation that the city has planned as the strategy evolves. Vancouver has set a date of 2021 to meet its reduction rate targets. If those targets aren’t met, a full ban on single use bags and cups will be enacted.
Also included in the strategy are changes to Vancouver’s existing green demolition bylaw. In particular, the expansion of the green demolition requirements beyond pre-1940s homes to include pre-1950s homes. The proposed amendments would take effect January 2019.
For complete details on the City of Vancouver Zero Waste 2040 Strategy visit: