(Wikimedia Commons)

Surrey councillor wants to ban single-use plastic bags, straws

Locke says banning or reducing single-use items ‘an important step in the evolution of waste diversion’

Councillor Brenda Locke wants to see a ban in Surrey on single-use items like plastic bags, straws and coffee cups.

During the April 30 council meeting, Locke received council’s support in directing staff to draft a report on “what’s being planned specifically at the regional level and what the timelines are to move forward right here in Surrey.”

Locke noted that the Metro Vancouver region is currently working on a strategy to reduce or eliminate single-use items, such as plastic bags and straws.

“When these products are not properly discarded many of them, especially plastics, can make their way into our waterways and eventually the ocean where they adversely impact fish and marine life,” Locke said Monday night.

“Since waste reduction is a key priority of the regional integrated solid waste and resource management plan I’m pleased to learn that this initiative is now moving forward. We all need to do our part to reduce the impact of waste and I know that Surrey residents and businesses are already doing a good job at diverting waste from the landfill, but we can always do better.”

READ ALSO: Surrey says no plastic straws, cutlery allowed at Fusion Festival

Locke said she sees the reduction or an outright ban of single-use items as “an important step in the evolution of waste diversion and I believe Surrey residents are ready to do their part.”

“But I also realize that these initiatives need to be successful and that needs to happen at a regional scale, ideally provincial scale,” she added.

Surrey council unanimously supported her motion. Staff will now draft a report for council’s consideration.

Locke said “in the coming months, Surrey will lay out a timeline to lead the way regionally.”

The City of Vancouver, meantime, launched a strategy to reduce the impact of plastic and paper shopping bags, disposable cups, takeout containers, plastic straws and single-use utensils last spring with the goal of having bans in place by June 1.

But the Vancouver roll-out may now be delayed until 2020 in order to give businesses more time to prepare.

“Our commitment to reducing single-use items is unwavering, we’re just taking the time to do the consultation to get the bylaw details right. We know that thousands of businesses are going to be affected by this change,” Vancouver’s senior project lead Monica Kosmak said in an interview with Canadian Press.

SEE MORE: Vancouver may give businesses breathing room on plastic straw, Styrofoam ban

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Surrey brothers work toward a ‘Foam-Free Vaisakhi’

-With files from Canadian Press

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