Richmond to determine timing of Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw following Provincial approval
12 September 2020
The City of Richmond welcomes the announcement by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy that it has given the go-ahead for the City's Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw No. 10000 to ban foam food service containers, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags, identifying it as a significant step forward in protecting our environment.
While this marks a critical milestone in the City’s strategic plan to promote more sustainable waste management and protect our environment, implementation of the Bylaw requires a number of steps to re-engage the community and establish the foundation to support future success.
“Richmond’s Bylaw to ban single use plastics and other items makes our community a leader in preventing millions of plastic and foam items from entering landfills and waterways every year,” said Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Richmond. “We know it’s important to work with business to put the new ban in place, but given the current situation due to COVID-19 and the pressures it is posing on many businesses, we will be assessing the timing of implementing our bylaw.”
The Bylaw was introduced last summer as the City felt it important to demonstrate leadership in addressing waste from single-use plastic. However, implementation was put on hold pending further review by the provincial government at that time.
The City, aware that challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic make timing crucial to its success, will assess the timing for adopting and implementation on the Bylaw in the coming months.
"Partnerships with local governments are key to making the community-level change that people want, and we all need. Reducing single-use plastics will curb their pollution of B.C.'s water and land, and damage to human health and wildlife," said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. "I commend local governments like the City of Richmond for their leadership and commitment to protecting our environment and climate, even in the face of the current pandemic challenges. The Province supports local governments as they implement these bans on workable, community- based timelines, and we will continue to work with them and other partners for cleaner B.C. air, land and water for everyone."
To support business, the City has shared a Discussion Guide on its website as a valuable resource on good alternatives and tips on how to assess what will work for them. The City will continue to develop a tool kit and other outreach materials for use during the transition phase as timing for the Bylaw is determined. Staff will also report back to share what was heard from local businesses and community members during the first phase of engagement which took place in late-2019.
It is estimated about 35 million foam food service containers, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags are collected from garbage in Richmond every year – that’s almost 660 tonnes that the City aims to remove from our landfills.
For information on the City’s Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw, including the Discussion Guide for business, go to www.richmond.ca/singleuse.