Single-Use Plastic & Other Items
Overview of Proposed Bylaw 10000
Richmond's Single-Use Plastics Ban
The City of Richmond’s Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw No. 10000 has been approved by the provincial government.
The City is moving ahead September 27, 2021 to present Bylaw 10000 to Council for final adoption. If adopted, Bylaw 10000 will be implemented on March 27, 2022, with enforcement beginning September 27, 2022. Bylaw 10000 bans:
- plastic checkout bags (including biodegradable and compostable plastics);
- plastic straws (including biodegradable and compostable plastics); and
- foam food service ware for prepared food (such as foam plates, clamshell containers, bowls and cups).
Bylaw 10000 Implementation Timeline
The implementation timeline for Bylaw 10000 will proceed as follows:
Presented for Final Adoption: September 27, 2020
Implemented and Effective: March 27, 2022
Enforcement: September 27, 2022
Who will be Affected
When adopted, the ban will affect all business license holders in the community – specifically any person, organization, or group engaged in a trade, business, profession, occupation, calling, employment or purpose that is regulated under the City's Business Licence Bylaw No. 7360 and includes a person employed by, or operating on behalf of, a business.
Bylaw Details and Exemptions
It is recognized that there are some exceptions that must be accommodated when the Bylaw is adopted to address health and safety considerations, accessibility and bulk purchasing of these items. The following is an overview of each category within the proposed ban and the exemptions that will apply.
Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw No. 10000
|What's will be included
||What will exemptions
|Part 1: Foam Containers
“No business shall sell or otherwise provide Prepared Food in any Food Service Ware that contains Polystyrene Foam.”
- Hospitals or any facility licensed as a community care facility under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act
- Organizations incorporated and in good standing under the Society Act, or registered as a charity under the federal Income Tax Act, will have 18 months after adoption to comply
- Prepared food containers that have been filled and sealed outside of the City of Richmond prior arrival to the business location
|Part 2: Plastic Straws
|| “No business shall sell or otherwise provide any Plastic Straws.”
- Businesses will be able to provide plastic straws to people with disability needs when requested
- Sale of plastic straws intended for use at a customer's home or business provided that they are sold in packages of multiple straws
|Part 2: Checkout Bags
“Except as provided in this Bylaw, no Business shall sell or otherwise provide a Plastic Checkout Bag to a customer.”
Businesses will be able to provide a plastic checkout bag to a customer if the bag has been returned to the purpose of being reused by other customers
Sale of plastic bags intended for use at a customer's home or business provided that they are sold in packages of multiple bags
Plastic checkout bags may be used as packaging for any of the following items:
- loose bulk food items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy
- loose small hardware items such as nails or bolts
- frozen food, meat, poultry or fish, whether prepackaged or not
- Flowers or potted plants
- Prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged
- prescription drugs received from a pharmacy
- transport live fish
- protecting linens, bedding or other similar large items
- protecting newspaper or other printed materials intended to be left at the customer's residence or place of business
- protecting clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning
Biodegradable Plastic Checkout Bags and Straws
The ban on plastic checkout bags and straws includes those that are labelled compostable/biodegradable as these items cannot be recycled and are currently not accepted at local composting facilities. Ironically, these products can only go in the garbage. This is because compostable/biodegradable plastics are not guaranteed to breakdown in industrial compost facilities. Also, these materials may further contribute to the issue of plastic pollution, as they are not designed to biodegrade if littered in the natural environment.
Required standards and certifications are needed to ensure plastic products labelled compostable/biodegradable meet the requirements needed to compost effectively at existing processing facilities, which are designed to compost food scraps and yard waste in the region. Currently, because the products do not align with these standards, they don’t break down completely, resulting in problems such as small flecks of plastic remaining in the end compost product, rendering the product contaminated.