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City of Edmonton takes step forward on single-use item ban

Click to play video: 'Edmonton to try and reduce single-use plastics and other waste'
Edmonton to try and reduce single-use plastics and other waste
(From March 14): A new City of Edmonton report is making a number of recommendations, some of which include banning some single use items. Business owners say they're on board, but a change to the city's original plan of how to deal with disposable paper and plastic cups is getting criticized for not going far enough – Mar 14, 2022

A ban on single-use items is a little closer to being implemented in the city of Edmonton after councillors voted to move forward in Monday’s meeting.

A motion to approve the plan to reduce single-use items and develop a related bylaw was passed without discussion.

Once drafted, the bylaw will go to a public hearing and then will be in effect one year after its approval. The public hearing is expected to happen later this year.

The bylaw would see a ban on things like single-use plastic shopping bags, foam cups and containers and would require restaurants to provide things like napkins, straws and pre-packaged condiments by request only.

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A minimum fee on paper and new reusable shopping bags would also be implemented and restaurants would be required to serve dine-in beverage orders in reusable cups or would have to accept reusable cups from customers for dine in or takeout orders. Drive-thru drinks could still be served in single-use cups.

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On top of the single-use item motion, the city also approved a business case that would see food scraps and recycling collection for multi-unit properties become mandatory.

“These two initiatives represent important milestones in the city’s waste reduction journey,” said Jodi Goebel, the director of waste strategy for the city.

“Residents will be asked to take more responsibility by sorting food scraps and recyclables, and looking for opportunities to replace single-use items with reusables. In return, the city will provide tools and support, and make sure separated food scraps are processed into energy and compost.”

The two initiatives target a 10 per cent reduction in single-use items per capita within two years of the bylaw coming into effect and a 20 per cent reduction within four years.

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