Calgary’s Single-Use Items Charter Bylaw (1H2023), which will take effect on January 16, 2024, aims to reduce waste by focusing on single-use items that can easily be avoided or replaced with reusable options. Council approved the bylaw in 2023. The goal is to reduce single-use items made from all types of materials, not just plastics.
Single-use items such as shopping bags, straws, utensils, napkins, and condiment packets are designed to be used only once before being thrown away. They are convenience items that are part of our daily routines but they also end up creating a staggering amount of garbage.
We’re encouraging Calgarians to refuse and reuse to help reduce the number of single-use items in our environment and going to our landfills. Citizens can choose to refuse things like shopping bags or foodware accessories, asking for them when they are needed and bring their own reusable options instead. Businesses can provide such items but only if requested and they must charge a fee for new paper or reusable shopping bags.
Federal government actions on single-use plastics
Calgary’s plan to reduce single-use items aligns with the Government of Canada’s Single use Plastics Prohibition Regulations that ban the manufacture and import of six categories of single-use plastics including: checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware that contains expanded or extruded polystyrene foam, polyvinyl chloride, carbon black or an oxo degradable plastic, ring carriers, stir sticks; and straws (with exemptions). The federal government will prohibit the sale and provision of these items in Canada as of December 20, 2023.
Our strategy to reduce single-use items waste also includes voluntary programs. We are encouraging businesses to adopt a reusable takeout container program and use reusable cups, visit calgary.ca/singleuse