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Calgary will introduce single-use plastics bylaw in 2024

Starting in January 2024, new rules will be in place for single-use plastics in the city of Calgary. Starting in January 2024, new rules will be in place for single-use plastics in the city of Calgary.

Calgary city council has passed a bylaw introducing new regulations regarding single-use plastic items, including mandatory fees on eco-friendly alternatives.

Discussions over the bylaw lasted for several hours during Monday's council meeting and it finally passed with a vote of 10 to 4. Chabot, McLean, Wyness and Chu were all against the bylaw.

Calgary's single-use plastics bylaw, which comes from the city's single-use items reduction strategy that was released to the public last year, includes several rules regarding single-use items, including plastic utensils, straws, stir sticks and other items.

Under the regulations, Calgarians will have to pay a minimum of 15 cents for paper bags or $1 for reusable bags at checkout counters if they do not have their own.

After one year, the city says those fees will increase to 25 cents for paper bags and $2 for reusable ones.

Administration says the fees are to "incentivize waste reduction, promote reuse and minimize substitution."

The bylaw also includes a strategy for single-use plastic straws, stir sticks and utensils.

The city says it will implement a "by request" requirement for those items as well as other foodware accessories such as condiments and napkins.

"These items are often provided when unnecessary or unwanted by the customer, are commonly littered, and alternatives to plastic could contaminate blue and green cart materials."

The city says the "by request" strategy should also save businesses money.

According to its data, the city says approximately 3.5 million plastic shopping bags, 6.4 million plastic utensils, 2.4 million takeout containers and 2.4 million disposable cups are thrown out in residential and commercial waste bins each week.

It adds millions more of those items are discarded in public garbage cans or as litter.

The bylaw is set to come into effect in 2024. Top Stories

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