City delays banning single-use plastics

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 1:05 PDT, Mon September 14, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Despite getting provincial approval Saturday, Richmond will wait to implement its single-use plastics ban.

“Richmond’s bylaw to ban single-use plastics and other items makes our community a leader in preventing millions of plastic and foam items from entering landfills and waterways every year,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We know it’s important to work with business to put the new ban in place, but given the current situation due to COVID-19 and the pressures it is posing on many businesses, we will be assessing the timing of implementing our bylaw.”

Under the city’s bylaw, banned items will include foam food service containers, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags. This marks a critical milestone in Richmond’s strategic plan to promote sustainable waste management and protect the environment.

"Partnerships with local governments are key to making the community-level change that people want, and we all need. Reducing single-use plastics will curb their pollution of BC's water and land, and damage to human health and wildlife," said BC’s Environment Minister George Heyman. "I commend local governments like the City of Richmond for their leadership and commitment to protecting our environment and climate, even in the face of the current pandemic challenges. The Province supports local governments as they implement these bans on workable, community-based timelines, and we will continue to work with them and other partners for cleaner BC air, land and water for everyone."

To support businesses, the city has shared a discussion guide on its website to assess alternative packaging and provide other tips. Staff will also report back on responses from businesses and community members, which were provided during the first phase of engagement in late 2019.

It is estimated that about 35 million foam food service containers, plastic straws and plastic checkout bags are collected from garbage in Richmond every year. These items total 660 tonnes that the city aims to remove from landfills.

For information on the bylaw, including the discussion guide for business, go to

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