About the project
British Columbians use and throw out billions of single-use items every year. Single-use items include a range of products that are designed to be thrown out after one use. Many single-use items are difficult or inconvenient to recycle as they are too small or made of plastic that is hard to collect or has little value. Almost all of the 12 most collected items from beach cleanups in B.C. are single-use and plastic items.
The federal government recently shared its plan to ban six types of plastic single-use items. Several municipalities in B.C. are also using bans to eliminate harmful plastic items. A combination of tools and policies is necessary to successfully address the use of and waste from single-use and plastic items in British Columbia.
The Single-Use and Plastic Waste Prevention Regulation creates a consistent provincewide approach to reduce the impacts of single-use and plastic items, and the amount of single-use and plastic waste found in the environment by moving plastics into B.C.’s circular economy and phasing out certain single-use and plastic items while also promoting a shift to durable, reusable options.
The regulation covers the following single-use and plastic items:
- Shopping bags
- Disposable food service accessories
- Food service ware (polystyrene foam, PVC, PVDC, compostable plastics, and biodegradable plastics)
- Oxo-degradable plastics (plastics with additives designed to break down into microplastics)
The Regulation also includes exemptions for reasons of accessibility, affordability, or if no suitable alternative is available. The province is also continuing to allow municipalities to create and enforce their own bylaws for single-use and plastic items.