Overview of Proposed Bylaw 10000
Richmond City Council passed the first three readings of a proposed new bylaw on Monday, July 22, 2019 that would ban items such as plastic checkout bags and straws as well as foam food service ware. The proposed bylaw has been sent to the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for approval. There is no indication at this time when that approval will be granted.
Proposed Single-Use Plastic and Other Items Bylaw No. 10000
- Foam food serve ware, including but not limited to containers, plates and cups
- Plastic straws
- Plastic check out bags, including shopping bags and grocery bags
It is recognized that there are some exceptions that must be accommodated within the proposed bylaw 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 apply.
|Part 1: Foam Containers||
“No business shall sell or otherwise provide Prepared Food in any Food Service Ware that contains Polystyrene Foam.”
|Part 2: Plastic Straws||“No business shall sell or otherwise provide any Plastic 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
Biodegradable Plastic Checkout Bags and Straws
Compostable/biodegradable plastic are not guaranteed to biodegrade if littered or in industrial compost facilities because standards and certifications are not aligned with existing infrastructure that is designed to compost food scraps and yard waste. Often times, small flecks of plastic remain in the end product, rendering the product contaminated. It is beyond local government’s ability to control compostable packaging design, thus the City is reaching out to other levels of government to advocate for broader measures that will result in consistent standards and policies for compostable and biodegradable plastics.
Who is Affected
The proposed ban would affect all business license holders in the community – specifically those who currently use plastic checkout bags such as retail shopping or grocery bags, as well as those who use plastic straws or sell or provide food using foam containers.
The bylaw is scheduled for final reading and adoption upon Ministerial approval—it is from this date the following starting points will be used to initiate new phases of the bylaw implementation:
- Council final adoption
- Effective Date of the Proposed Bylaw: 6 months after Council’s final adoption;
- Enforcement Date of the Proposed Bylaw: 12 months after Council’s final adoption (6 months after effective date to provide businesses time to use up existing supplies); and
- Expiry of Charitable Organizations Exemption in the Proposed Bylaw: The exemption for charitable societies and organizations will end 18 months after Council’s final adoption of the Proposed Bylaw.
The City will begin awareness by continuing education and working with businesses to support their compliance efforts. This will be a staged approach to ensure that businesses have all the information and resources necessary to successfully comply. Penalties will be laid only once sufficient education and notice has been issued to the non-compliant business.Related Links and Resources
News Release - Richmond takes lead to ban single-use plastics