Sat. Mar 25th, 2023
man in yellow shirt and brown pants

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.

female wearing face mask
Take out orders and coffee prices are about to increase in Vancouver.

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. 

several apples beside bread pack and brown paper bag
It’s bad timing for a paper tariff in Vancouver.

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?

12 thoughts on “A New Year’s Gift From the City of Vancouver”
  1. This article is very resourceful and has made me now realize why I had an extra fee for my McDonalds. Thanks.

  2. I find the debate on whether or not this tax should be imposed at this time very interesting. I’m also curious as to what will happen next, as this tax affects my life.

  3. the government should wait to enforce such laws as this will be very damaging to businesses and people living in Vancouver, especially during this time

  4. I find it ironic how we weren’t able to bring our own bags for takeouts and such awhile back, but now with these new restrictions, bags and cups that are usually given for free now come with a charge. Thank you for this useful article!

  5. Interesting.. Without knowing how long this can go on for can truly be a struggle for the people that are forced with extra fees.

  6. I found this article quite resourceful, as I am now aware as to why businesses like fast food restaurants may charge me a fee for paper items. Thank you.

  7. As someone who goes to McDonalds a lot, this article had informed me about the sudden price raise in cups and bags. Now I’ll remember to bring reusable items on my next visit.

  8. After reading this article it has let me know that I should bring my own bags, so I don’t have to pay for anymore fee’s.

  9. I believe that people are still going to use one time use cups even with a charge and this tax won’t help the climate in a big way. I believe the tax price isn’t high enough to change peoples minds on multi use cups.

  10. I think that this change is a good one and will influence people to not use as many single use plastics.

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