On April 22, 2022, B.C. released an intentions paper outlining the government’s plans for a regulation to reduce the prevalence of single-use items. The impact of the proposed changes to the retail and restaurant industries is very significant. Response to the Intentions Paper will be discussed with RCC Plastics Committee. RCC will provide an industry response by the deadline on June 21, 2022.
The Intentions Paper proposes a province-wide ban on all plastic shopping bags, including compostable plastics, and the imposition of minimum 25 cent fees for paper shopping bags (and a requirement of a minimum 40% recycled content) and minimum $2 fee for new ‘durable’ reusable shopping bags. There will be use exceptions for bags for prescription drugs and medical devices, bakery or bulk items, and produce bags.
The province will move to by-request distribution for all single-use straws, cutlery, stir sticks, condiment packages, napkins, cold beverage cup lids, sleeves, food or beverage trays and any other similar accompanying disposable item used as part of food or beverage packaging. Lids will be permitted for hot beverages. Self-service stations will be permitted.
B.C. will also ban foodservice packaging made of problem plastics including polystyrene foam, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride), compostable plastic, and oxo-degradable plastic.