The BC Government announced new regulations to combat single-use plastic waste and protect the environment, that will come into effect in December 2023. This marks a significant step towards a cleaner, more sustainable future for BC.
“The Surrey Board of Trade applauds the Provincial Government for their bold leadership in combatting single-use plastic waste. These new regulations demonstrate a commitment to preserving our natural environment for future generations,” said Jasroop Gosal, Policy & Research Manager of the Surrey Board of Trade. “There are innovative industry opportunities that are available now, or that can be developed, that will lead to new employment opportunities.”
“The world produces hundreds of millions of tonnes of plastic every year, most of which cannot be recycled. It’s obvious that we need to use less plastic, move towards environmentally sustainable products and services, and come up with technology that recycles plastic more efficiently.”
Key highlights of the regulation include:
- A ban on certain types of single-use plastic items in B.C, including:
- single-use plastic shopping bags (including compostable plastic bags)
- single-use plastic utensils (including compostable plastic utensils)
- foodservice packaging made from compostable plastics, biodegradable plastics, PVC, PVDC, and polystyrene foam
- all packaging made from oxo-degradable plastics
- Charging minimum fees on alternatives to single-use plastic shopping bags (i.e. single-use paper and reusable shopping bags)
- Requiring single-use food service accessories to be made available only by request or opt-in
- Providing exemptions for reasons of accessibility, affordability, or if no suitable alternative is available
The BC Government acknowledges that transitioning away from single-use plastics will require collaboration and education. To support this transition, educational campaigns and resources will be made available to businesses, communities, and consumers, providing guidance on sustainable alternatives and waste reduction practices. We appreciate that the government is giving businesses notice so they can prepare for the changes and use up existing inventory.
We have long advocated for the phased elimination of single-use plastics in a way that ensures certainty within the business community. The Surrey Board of Trade is the only business organization (chamber of commerce/board of trade) as part of the Metro Vancouver National Zero Waste Council.