Partial delay of B.C. single-use and plastic waste regulation - Retail Council of Canada
British Columbia | Plastics and Alternatives | Sustainability

Partial delay of B.C. single-use and plastic waste regulation

December 4, 2023

RCC is pleased that Government has reacted, in part to our August 8, 2023 letter to Premier David Eby, and delayed implementation of a significant component of the Single-Use and Plastic Waste Prevention Regulation.  Late in the afternoon on Friday, December 1, 2023, the B.C. Government announced that the effective date of several components of their precedent-setting regulation would be delayed.  For detail, please consult the province’s plastics web site.

The portions of the regulation impacting “disposable food service accessories” are not impacted and will be in effect on December 20, 2023.  The food service accessories (utensils, stir sticks, straws, lids, condiments, napkins, chopsticks, splash plugs, napkins, wet wipes, and garnishes (e.g., sushi grass) will be by request, or self-service station.  Single-use plastic utensils, stir sticks, splash plugs and chopsticks are banned in favour of those made from wood or fiber. There are some exemptions for drive-through and delivery.  Government has a disposable food service accessories factsheet available on these items.

Most other parts of the regulation will now come into effect July 15, 2024 (one year and one day after the initial publication of the regulation).  This includes the ban on oxo-degradable packaging and single-use items, the shopping bag provisions and the food service ware provisions.  Notably, while single-use plastic shopping (checkout) bags will be banned by the Federal government as of December 20, 2023, province-wide requirements for bag fees and reusable bag requirements will now be implemented July 15, 2024.  Please note that local municipalities’ bag bylaws are still in effect. The shopping bag factsheet is available here.

Food service ware provisions (now coming into effect on July 15, 2024) are explained on the food service ware factsheet. There is also an oxo-degradable plastics factsheet explaining the ban on that form of packaging.

Finally, Government has delayed the implementation of the ban on PVC film wrap (widely used in food retail and food service settings) until July 1, 2028.  The ban on polystyrene foam trays for raw meat, fish, poultry and seafood will still come into effect July 1, 2030 (note that this extension does not apply to sushi).

For questions or more information contact

Greg Wilson
Director, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs