Richmond adopts Bylaw 10000 to ban single-use plastic
28 September 2021
To help reduce unnecessary waste and plastic pollution, Richmond Council adopted the Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw No. 10000 at last night’s Council meeting. The bylaw will ban foam food service ware, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags starting March 27, 2022. The new ban affects all businesses operating in Richmond and is consistent with bylaws in other communities, as well as regulations being developed by the federal and provincial governments.
“It is crucial that we address single-use plastics as a significant cause of environmental damage in our oceans, local waterways and other natural areas by reducing this type of unnecessary waste as we support a more sustainable, circular economy,” said Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Richmond.
“Richmond is a recognized leader in sustainability, and we look forward to working with our local businesses and consumers to transition away from single-use plastics to more acceptable alternatives.”
To provide businesses with time to use up stock and transition to accepted alternatives, there is a six month period before Bylaw 10000 comes into effect, and then another six months before the bylaw will be enforced in September 2022. Based on feedback from the community, the City is providing resources to support local businesses such as a toolkit to help prepare for the ban, and point-of-sale materials to inform customers. That feedback involved workshops with Richmond businesses, meetings with local business organizations and an online community survey. A second round of business workshops were also held in August and September.
It is estimated that about 35 million foam food service containers, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags are collected in the garbage in Richmond every year. That is almost 660 tonnes that the City aims to remove from landfills. It is estimated that 29,000 tonnes of plastic pollution enters the environment across Canada each year.
On a global scale, at least eight million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year, which is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute. Since plastic degrades slowly and is persistent in the environment, the amount of plastic pollution is anticipated to continue to increase over time which makes the issue a local, national, and global problem that needs a unified plan to combat.
For information on the City’s Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw, including the Single-Use Plastic Community Engagement Summary Report, go to www.richmond.ca/singleuse.