Vancouver charge for single-use cups, bags comes into effect Jan. 1, 2022

You may notice new signage up at your favourite fast-food restaurants in Vancouver reminding you of a potential additional charge to your orders starting in the New Year.

As of Jan. 1, 2022, restaurants will be required to charge customers an additional 25 cents for every disposable cup. A 15 cent fee will also be applied for any paper bag you need to carry your order out.

Signs with the reminder are already being seen as places like McDonald’s. The fast-food restaurant says the two charges will begin to be applied as of the first of the year.

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The city banned the use of foam cups and foam take-out containers on Jan. 1, 2020. Bans, with some accessibility exemptions, on plastic straws began in April of that year.

The 25 cent and 15 cent fees are the minimum charges outlined by the City of Vancouver. Some restaurant operators may choose to charge more for these items.

According to the city, businesses keep the fees from cups and bags. They are encouraged to use the revenue they make to “help cover the cost of complying with the by-laws and invest in reusable alternatives.”

Despite this, it’s unclear how restaurants plan to use the money they make on these items. CityNews has reached out to McDonald’s for that company’s plans.

The new bylaw was originally set to come into effect last year. The implementation date was pushed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city says.

“In spite of the delay, we remain fully committed to reduce waste and litter from single-use items and provide support and education to residents, businesses, and not-for-profits in making these changes,” Vancouver’s website reads.

The city recommends people bring their own cups for drinks to go or ask for reusable ones for drinks to stay. However, it’s unclear if all restaurants, such as McDonald’s, will allow the use of reusable cups given the ongoing pandemic.

The federal government previously announced its plan to ban single-use plastic items by the end of this year. Earlier this month, it laid out its plan, pushing its target to “as early as late 2022 after reviewing and considering comments received.”

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