Vancouver uses 2.6 million disposable coffee cups every week

Sep 15 2017, 4:18 am

While the abundance of coffee shops in Vancouver offers no shortage of choice for consumers, it also leaves an abundance of something much less appealing: Large amounts of disposable coffee cups that end up in the trash.

In fact, according to the latest findings which were released this week as part of the city’s Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy plan, a whopping  2.6 million to-go coffee cups are thrown in the trash in Vancouver every week.

Now, as part of the planning process, the City of Vancouver is inviting businesses, industry representatives, social service agencies, advocacy groups, local governments and other government agencies to provide feedback on a consultation paper that will help shape the development of a Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy.

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“Vancouver has an ambitious goal to be the Greenest City in the world by 2020, and we’re looking for a made-in-Vancouver solution that reduces… our garbage,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

The city, he continued,  “wants to hear feedback first and foremost from businesses and other stakeholders on how we can pursue a balanced approach that works for everyone.”

Why a Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy

“Despite their convenience, single use items cost Vancouver taxpayers about $2.5 million a year to collect from public waste bins and to clean up as litter in our parks, streets and green spaces,” the city said in a release.

The consultation paper is intended to spark conversation on how the City of Vancouver and stakeholders can work together to develop a solution that reduces single-use items, supports convenient, affordable and accessible alternatives, and could be adopted by other communities.

Items to be included in the single-use item strategy include:

  • Disposable beverage cups
  • Plastic and paper shopping bags
  • Take-out containers

On June 27, 2017, City staff shared potential single-use item strategies and opened the door for feedback in a report to Council.

How to submit feedback

Comments and written feedback on the consultation paper will be accepted until December 15, 2017.

The Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy consultation paper can be viewed here.

Thos who want to participate can submit feedback using a number of different options which include: any of the following options:

The City is also hosting a series of roundtable discussions in the fall with interested industry representatives to review the information contained in the consultation paper.

Businesses and industry representatives who are interested in participating in a meeting are asked to register at or email the City at [email protected].

City staff will present a draft Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy to Council in 2018.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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