City of Vancouver moving to reduce use of straws in bars, restaurants

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As the issue of plastic pollution garners more attention, a growing number of Metro Vancouver restaurants and bars are beginning to phase out disposable plastic straws. Aaron McArthur reports – Apr 3, 2018

It may be the final straw for restaurants and bars across Metro Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver is bringing its single-use reduction plan to a vote next month.

LISTEN: Single-use containers, foam cups and straws may soon be a thing of the past in Vancouver

It is trying to reduce the use of a lot of disposable items, including coffee cups and especially smaller items like straws that can be more harmful to the environment.

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Several chains are already only giving out straws when asked and the Vancouver Aquarium, where straws have not been available for the last 10 years, is urging others to follow suit.

“Last year, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup picked up just under 18,000 straws from coastlines across the country,” Dolf DeJong, vice-president and Aquarium general manager told Global News.

Straws have already been banned in several U.S. cities and some establishments in the Okanagan are working to eliminate them.

READ MORE: Plastic straw ban taking hold in the Okanagan

“We’ve added straws and utensils to our single-use reduction strategy at the request of businesses and residents,” said Monica Kosmak, senior project manager, Zero Waste at the City of Vancouver. “We just received a petition from 110 businesses asking the city to take stronger measures to reduce straws.”

Some chains, including White Spot, will now only give straws if people ask.

The city’s single-use reduction plan will go to council next month in an effort to reduce waste from:

  • Disposable hot and cold drink cups
  • Plastic and paper shopping bags
  • Polystyrene foam and other take-out containers
  • Disposable straws and utensils

-With files from Aaron McArthur


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