Vancouver postpones ban on plastic straws, while Surrey gives it green light

Vancouver city council has delayed its ban on plastic straws. Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)

Vancouver city council has voted to postpone the ban on plastic straws until April of next year and is also waiting to impose a ban on Styrofoam takeout containers.

Vancouver city staff say businesses need more information, and details around bylaws and phase-out plans will be presented to council no later than this fall.

“There’s general support for the (strategy), but there appears to be little information on the bans,” Monica Kosmak, the city’s senior project manager, said earlier this month.

“We’ve been consulting with businesses over the past year, and that process is still underway.”

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Vancouver city council has yet to approve the bylaw that would put the ban into action.

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Kosmak said the plastic straw ban is taking longer in order to address issues of accessibility. She mentioned that businesses also raised concerns about the overall cost of reusable or compostable containers and straws.

The ban on Styrofoam takeout containers, which was set to start May 1, was also delayed until the beginning of next year.

The ban on foam containers will come with a one-year exemption for charitable food providers.

Surrey council, meanwhile, passed a motion to ban plastic bags and straws.

Coun. Brenda Locke initiated this motion and says the city will lay out a timeline to phase out single-use items.

“When these products are not properly discarded, many of them, especially plastics, can make their way into our waterways and, eventually, the ocean,” Locke said.

—With files from Sean Boynton

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