styrofoam recycling

Foam is officially banned in Vancouver starting today

Vancouver has joined a growing list of more than 100 North American cities, including San Diego and New York City, that have banned foam takeout containers and cups.

As of today, the B.C. city will no longer permit businesses to use any polystyrene foam containers. The white styrofoam, though often recyclable if a city's program accepts it, is made of plastic. 

Vancouver first made recycling of the material mandatory, under penalty of a fine, last February.

The city has also taken its green efforts one step further by banning plastic straws — an initiative that will take effect in April 2020— and is making moves to ban plastic bags, which it hopes to do by January 2021.

The use of more eco-friendly paper bags, straws and containers will be encouraged among the public instead.

The bans have been in the works for a long time, initially approved in 2018 before an outreach and education program was implemented to help businesses make the transition before the deadlines.

The changes are part of a larger strategy for Vancouver to reduce waste from single-use items by switching to more sustainable, biodegradable options— something that any Canadian city can and should surely get on board with.

Lead photo by

Maiko Sushi


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