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Council mulls proposed bylaw to cut down on single-use plastics

A proposed bylaw to reduce single use items is heading to council chambers on Tuesday.

The Single-Use Items Reduction Strategy makes recommendations on how Calgarians can limit one-time items including forks and bags "independent of composition" and not by just replacing single-use plastic items with items made from other materials.

The proposed bylaw primarily targets bags and cutlery.

It recommends charging a minimum fee on paper and new reusable shopping bags, while single- use food ware like straws and cutlery be available only at a customer’s request.

Voluntary measures would include businesses reducing single use cups and food containers.

Some bags would be exempt from the bylaw, like those used for carrying prescription drugs or holding bulk food items.

According to a 2019 multi-sector waste composition study conducted by the City of Calgary, "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 away in the residential and commercial garbage streams every week."

The study adds millions of single-use items are discarded in public garbage bins or as litter.

The reduction strategy is in line with the city’s proposed 2022 Calgary Climate Strategy.

City administration is recommending the proposed bylaw come into force in Q1 of 2024. Top Stories

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