On the heels of its plastic bag ban the City of Victoria is now considering a study into a ban of single-use coffee cups and single-use takeout containers.
Included in the current draft of the city’s 2019-2022 strategic plan, the ban could come into effect as soon as 2020.
The study would consider the “logical exceptions” just as the plastic bag ban did. The move is the next step after Victoria banned single-use plastic bags in 2018, a ban that’s about to take effect in Saanich in 2019. Victoria has also voted to ban single-use straws.
The study will likely consider compostable plant-based packaging over non-compostable packaging but the final details are still unknown.
The likely target is the single-use paper, plastic and Styrofoam used for ‘take out’ and ‘to go’ orders that many local businesses continue to use. They’ll have to join other companies that have taken it on themselves to use sustainable methods, such as Big Wheel Burger, which uses only compostable items (such as cups made from corn).
In fact, there would be more compostable to-go products if it weren’t for the costs, says Root Cellar co-owner Daisy Orser, whose new Coffee Project on McKenzie Avenue (at Blenkinsop) opened in 2018 to steady business.
“We make every effort in every department to use sustainable, compostable packaging whenever we can and it costs a lot,” Orser said. “We even have compostable plant-based straws, but they’re by request only.”
The Coffee Project has a fridge loaded with grab-and-go products, sandwiches and pre-made meals, and the options to use sustainable packaging, namely plant-based materials, for all grab-and-go products are currently unrealistic, she added.
By installing a ban on these non-compostable, single-use items, it will stimulate the sustainable packaging market which is currently hampered by costs and availability, Orser said.
“We bite the bullet, I don’t know how the smaller businesses will do,” Orser said. “We are limited in what is available so this is exciting as it will create demand and open doors. We visit trade shows and the products we see are unavailable here.”
Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor said his city should also follow suit with bans on plastic straws and single-use cups and containers.