Did you notice that the new single use plastics by-law was introduced on January 1st – you will the first time you buy take-out or a coffee.
By | Nina Stofati
It is an undeniable fact that much of what took place this year has put an economic strain on the nation. People have already started feeling the impacts of Canada’s deficit and spending through rapid inflation and higher costs of living.
As a result, it is expected that the new year will bring about tax increases and generally higher expenses for everyone. However, Vancouver residents may have to reassess their finances, as ordering take-out or a cup of coffee this year will come at a much higher cost.
On January 1st, 2022, the City of Vancouver put into effect a new by-law banning single-use plastics. Additionally, people will be required to pay a minimum fee of 25 cents for paper cups and 15 cents for each paper bag. This paper tax is intended to encourage businesses to move to reusable alternatives.
With COVID-19, however, many establishments are unable to do so due to sanitary concerns, meaning that consumers will simply be paying more for each of their drinks.
While the purpose of this legislation is to minimize waste across the city, it remains extremely damaging to businesses. The city is encouraging residents to bring their own reusable bags and cups, but with the pandemic, there are many businesses such as coffee shops that cannot accept these and are forced to charge their customers an additional fee.
At one point in the pandemic, customers were not allowed to bring their own bags to the grocery store due to sanitary concerns. The same could re-occur with the surge in COVID-19 cases, forcing consumers to spend an additional fee on top of the growing costs of food caused by nationwide inflation.
Given the unprecedented situation Canada is facing at the moment, it is not in the best interest of Vancouver residents or business owners for the city to impose this tariff on paper items.
In a time when inflation is higher than it has ever been in 18 years and businesses are struggling to stay afloat due to pandemic restrictions and drastically reduced economic activity, is it truly an appropriate time for this municipality to impose such fees?
Does this new law support businesses during this time of economic crisis, or further penalize them?