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Business Discussion Guide - Proposed Bylaw to Ban Single-use Plastic and Other Items

Proposed Bylaw to Ban Single-Use Plastics and Other Items

Single-use items are primarily made from fossil fuels and are designed to be used one time and then typically disposed of by being sent to the landfill. We all know it’s better to avoid single-use items. In Revelstoke, a proposed bylaw to ban plastic checkout bags, foam containers and plastic straws will be sent to Council for final adoption this fall.

As Single-Use Items Regulation Bylaw No. 2263 goes through the approval process, the City of Revelstoke will work with affected businesses to support the transition to better options. The City will also raise awareness about the proposed ban in the community and why it is important to avoid single-use items.

It’s time to change the way we look at waste. Instead of creating large amounts of unnecessary waste from single-use items, we need to select materials that can be composted, re-used or recycled multiple times into new products. Changes like these take leadership.



1. Why we're banning single-use items

The City of Revelstoke is taking the lead to reduce reliance on some common single-use items, and encourage other communities in Canada and around the world to implement similar measures to help reduce plastic waste and pollution in oceans and other natural areas. While the initial steps involve the proposed bylaw to ban plastic checkout bags, foam food service ware and plastic straws, the City will continue to explore other ways to reduce single-use items that result in unnecessary waste and pollution. We know it’s important to make these changes, and we want to work with local businesses to make it happen.

Businesses in Revelstoke will play a key role in shifting to better options for the environment. We encourage you to share your feedback about the proposed bylaw and your ideas about how to reduce reliance on single-use items, as well as your preferences for alternative products and communication materials.

SINGLE-USE IS WASTEFUL AND NOT SUSTAINABLE

  • It’s time to shift to a circular economy, where the materials we use stay in circulation to be used, re-used and recycled multiple times into new products.
  • This shift from single-use to a circular economy is more sustainable because it reduces reliance on new raw materials and reduces waste going to landfills.
  • Reducing waste from single-use items also helps to address problems like ocean pollution.

RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT – BUT REDUCING WASTE IS ESSENTIAL

  • While many single-use items can be recycled at the Revelstoke Recycling Depot, it’s important to remember that most single-use items are very low quality and cannot be recycled more than a couple times – at most. Eventually, they are just waste going to a landfill.
  • Some items, like plastic bags labelled biodegradable or compostable, are actually not accepted for composting and are also not recyclable, which means these bags can only be put in the garbage.
  • It’s equally critical to reduce waste overall by re-using items, making smart decisions when shopping to reduce packaging and other waste, and avoiding single-use items whenever possible.

2. Proposed bylaw to ban single-use items in Revelstoke

Under the proposed Single-Use Items Regulation Bylaw No. 2263, City of Revelstoke Council is taking the lead to ban single-use items that are creating huge amounts of unnecessary waste.

THE PROPOSED BYLAW WOULD BAN:

  • Plastic checkout bags, including shopping bags and grocery bags
  • Foam food service ware, including but not limited to containers, plates and cups
  • Plastic straws

It is recognized that there are some exceptions that must be accommodated within the proposed bylaw to address health and safety considerations, accessibility and bulk purchasing of these items. This section includes an overview of each category within the proposed ban and the exemptions that apply.

Revelstoke City Council has completed the first step toward introducing Bylaw 2263 by giving the proposed bylaw First Reading, and authorizing the community engagement process. The City is now looking to businesses, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce and the community to provide feedback on the best way to implement the ban when it is approved, including input on proposed alternatives and tips on how to avoid single-use items.

WHO IS AFFECTED

Under this proposed bylaw, a business is defined as any person, organization or group engaged in a trade, business, profession, occupation, calling, employment or purpose that is regulated under the City’s Business Licensing & Regulation Bylaw No. 1503, and includes a person employed by, or operating on behalf of, a business.

Upon adoption of the bylaw, if you operate a business within Revelstoke, including commercial, retail and food vendor/restaurants, or provide retail or food services at an event, you will be required to comply with the bans.

Did you know…

Some items may appear like a better option but are actually worse – such as plastic bags labelled compostable or biodegradable, which are not accepted for composting in the region and are not recyclable, so these items end up in the garbage.


PART 1: PLASTIC CHECKOUT BAGS

“Except as provided in this Bylaw, no Business shall sell or otherwise provide a Plastic Checkout Bag to a customer.”

Plastic checkout bags include any bag made with plastic, including biodegradable or compostable plastic, that is intended to be used by the customer for the purpose of transporting items purchased or received from the business, or intended to be used to package take-out or delivery food. Alternatives to plastic bags include cloth bags, natural straw baskets, backpacks and totes to name a few.

There are a number of accepted uses for plastic bags that will remain permitted under the proposed bylaw, as listed in the exemptions below.

EXEMPTIONS

  • Businesses will be able to provide a plastic checkout bag to a customer if the bag has been returned to the business for the purpose of being reused by other customers. This is intended to support charitable organizations and thrift stores who commonly use this practice to cut costs for their customers and reuse materials already in circulation.
  • Plastic checkout bags may be used as packaging for any of the following:
  • Loose bulk food items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy;
  • Loose small hardware items such as nails or bolts;
  • Frozen food, meat, poultry or fish, whether pre-packaged or not;
  • Flowers or potted plants;
  • Prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged; and
  • Prescription drugs received from a pharmacy.
  • Plastic checkout bags may also be used for:
  • Transporting live fish;
  • Protecting linens, bedding or other similar large items;
  • Protecting newspapers or other printed material intended to be left at the customer’s residence or place of business; or
  • Protecting clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning.
  • The sale of plastic bags intended for use at a customer’s home or business will be permitted under the bylaw provided that they are sold in packages of multiple bags.


COMPOSTABLE/ BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC

As a part of the proposed bylaw, the City will include bans on compostable and biodegradable plastic checkout bags and plastic straws.

Compostable/biodegradable plastic are not guaranteed to biodegrade if littered or in industrial compost facilities because standards and certifications are not aligned with existing infrastructure that is designed to compost food scraps and yard waste. Often times, small flecks of plastic remain in the end product, rendering the product contaminated.


PART 2: PLASTIC STRAWS

“No business shall sell or otherwise provide any Plastic Straws.”

If adopted, this means that businesses will not be able to sell or provide any drinking straw made with plastic, including biodegradable plastic or compostable plastic.

EXEMPTIONS

  • Businesses will be able to provide plastic straws to people with accessibility needs when requested.
  • The sale of plastic straws intended for use at a customer’s home or business will be permitted under the bylaw provided that they are sold in packages of multiple straws.


PART 3: FOAM CONTAINERS

“No business shall sell or otherwise provide Prepared Food in any Food Service Ware that contains Polystyrene Foam.”

If adopted, this means that businesses in Revelstoke will not be able to sell or provide prepared food in any foam food service ware, which includes but is not limited to plates, cups, bowls, trays, cartons, and hinged or lidded containers. Prepared food includes any food or beverage prepared for consumption by a customer. It does not include any raw, uncooked food, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs or vegetables unless provided for consumption without further food preparation.

EXEMPTIONS

  • This ban does not apply to hospitals or any facility licensed as a community care facility under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act as these facilities have special health safety requirements.
  • Organizations incorporated and in good standing under the Society Act, or registered as a charitable society or organization under the federal Income Tax Act, will have 18 months after adoption to comply (compared to 12 months for other businesses).
  • Prepared food containers that have been filled and sealed outside of the City of Revelstoke prior to arrival at the business location will be permitted under the bylaw.


IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

Bylaw 2263 is scheduled for final adoption this fall. The date of adoption will be used to initiate new phases of the bylaw implementation:

  • Effective Date of the Proposed Bylaw: 6 months after Council’s final adoption;
  • Enforcement Date of the Proposed Bylaw: 12 months after Council’s final adoption (6 months after effective date to provide businesses time to use up existing supplies); and
  • Expiry of Charitable Organizations Exemption in the Proposed Bylaw: The exemption for charitable societies and organizations will end 18 months after Council’s final adoption of the Proposed Bylaw.

The City will begin the enforcement phase by continuing education and working with businesses to support their compliance efforts. This will be a staged approach to ensure that businesses have all the information and resources necessary to successfully comply. Penalties will be laid only once sufficient education and notice has been issued to the business in non-compliance.

The penalties for not complying with the bylaw include fines of up to $10,000 and no less than $1,000, as well as any costs of the prosecution.


Did you know…

The more we purchase items with recycled content, the more demand will increase for these types of products. This supports the economic viability of recycling collection programs and the City of Revelstoke Council Priority of Sustainability through making decisions to satisfy the needs of the present without adversely affecting the ability of future generations.


SUPPORTING BUSINESSES

We recognize that this is a significant change for our local businesses, and we want to work with you to implement the transition from banned items to accepted alternatives. We are providing support in a number of ways.

I. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

As part of community outreach, the City is providing opportunities for residents to ask questions and share comments on the proposed Bylaw 2263 via Talk Revelstoke.

II. RESEARCH AND FEEDBACK ON ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTS

City staff have conducted research on a number of acceptable alternatives to replace the banned items. The City will provide businesses with a list of proposed alternatives, what types of materials are accepted –and those that are not. As part of the awareness period, the City is reaching out to businesses to review the alternatives being proposed and collect feedback on other options.

III. RESEARCH AND FEEDBACK ON COMMUNICATION SUPPORT

If the proposed Bylaw is approved and adopted, the City will undertake a further communication campaign to help raise awareness in the community about the new bans. In addition, the City will develop and provide both a toolkit for local businesses to help guide selection of acceptable alternatives, as well as point-of-sale materials that businesses can use to inform their customers about the City’s ban.

IV. COORDINATION AND COOPERATION WITH OTHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT

It is evident that bans of this nature are more effective when applied consistently. The City of Revelstoke will be petitioning the provincial government to encourage legislation and policy, and has provided feedback on the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan that will be consistent with the City’s bylaw. Staff will also follow and respond to updates on the federal government’s announcement to ban single-use items in future.

3. Alternatives to replace banned materials

While single-use plastics create unnecessary waste and pollution, finding replacement products is not always as straight-forward as it appears. As part of the implementation of the proposed ban, the City of Revelstoke will be developing a toolkit for businesses to assist them in transitioning to alternative products prior to adoption of the bylaw. To ensure the list is comprehensive and provides viable options for business, it is important to hear back from affected business about proposed alternatives and other options available.

TIPS FOR ASSESSING ALTERNATIVES

Some alternatives are better than others as they use less energy to produce and can be reused for a long time. When making choices that are the best option for the environment, it’s important to note the life cycle considerations outlined below.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN ASSESSING ALTERNATIVES

  • Recyclable food service ware that is recycled or has a higher recycling rate at end-of-life is frequently found to have lower environmental impacts across all impact categories.
  • Materials like paper that are both compostable and recyclable often result in higher energy savings when they are recycled instead of composted.
  • Compostable food service ware is often found to increase rates of food scraps recycling.
  • Plastic bags labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” are not permitted under the proposed ban as they are not accepted at composting facilities and cannot be recycled.


PURCHASING TIPS

  • Ensure the product does not contain poly- and per-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) which are used as moisture or oil barriers. PFAS are chemicals that linger in the environment and can have negative health impacts.
  • Choose unbleached paper bags over bleached and look for recycled content.
  • Look for reusable bags with recycled plastic content to reduce environmental impact.
  • Look for reusable bags that can be used at least 100 times and are washable.
  • For net shopping bags, hemp may be better than cotton as it requires less energy to grow and harvest.


PURCHASING AND USAGE GUIDELINES

WHAT TO ASK SUPPLIERS WHEN SELECTING ALTERNATIVES

How are the products produced?

What resources are required for their production?

Considerations:

  • Look for products that take steps to reduce the amount of resources in production – increasing the amount of recycled content is a great option.


Does it include recycled content?

Considerations:

  • Look for products that contain recycled content as this can help reduce greenhouse gases by almost 70%.


The product is “eco-friendly” but what is it made of?

Is there a plastic lining or has a coating been applied to make it waterproof?

Is it just one material or a blend?

Considerations:

  • If it’s made out of paper, ask if it has a lining.
  • If there is a plastic lining, ask if it is regular plastic (commonly polypropylene) or compostable plastic (commonly polylactic acid).
  • If it is regular plastic, this item is accepted for residential recycling in the City’s Blue Box program.
  • If lined with compostable plastic, the item will not be accepted in either the recycling or compost in Revelstoke and should be disposed of in the garbage.
  • If there is a coating, ask if it contains poly- and per-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are chemicals that are used as moisture or oil barriers – these chemicals often linger in the environment and negatively impact human health.
  • Look for products that are made from one material as it is easier to recycle correctly. Products with multiple materials are often difficult to separate and recycle.


How do they recommend the product be disposed of?

Considerations:

  • Check with your recycling provider to ensure the product aligns with the recycling requirements.


Can the product be reused multiple times?

Considerations:

  • Look for items that can be used as many times as possible to keep them out of the landfill longer.


SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVES

The City has compiled an initial list of alternative materials that businesses and residents can use to select items that are reusable or can be recycled multiple times. It is recommended businesses inquire with their service provider to determine which recycling stream their materials should be diverted to.


STRAWS

Types of Straws Banned in the Proposed Bylaw:

  • Plastic straws
  • Biodegradable plastic straws
  • Compostable plastic straws


Suggested Alternatives:

REPLACE WITH...
REUSE
RECYCLE
Metal*


Glass*


Silicone*


Bamboo*


Hard Plastic*


*Customers may bring these items to help reduce plastic waste. Please adhere to your food safety sanitation plan.


CONTAINERS AND CUPS

Types of Containers and Cups Banned in the Proposed Bylaw:

  • Polystyrene foam


Suggested Alternatives:

REPLACE WITH...
REUSE
RECYCLE
Fibre-based with polypropylene plastic lining


Recyclable Plastic


Ceramic*


Glass*


Metal*


Bamboo*


Hard Plastic*


*Customers may bring these items to help reduce plastic waste. Please adhere to your food safety sanitation plan.


CHECKOUT BAGS

Types of Checkout Bags Banned in the Proposed Bylaw:

  • Plastic checkout bags
  • Biodegradable plastic
  • Compostable plastic


Suggested Alternatives:

REPLACE WITH...
REUSE
RECYCLE
Paper bags



Reusable plastic (woven polypropylene, non-woven polypropylene)*


Natural cloth (cotton, hemp)*


*Customers may bring these items to help reduce plastic waste. Please adhere to your food safety sanitation plan.


4. Communication and education support

The next step in this process is community engagement. During this time we will be looking at ways to support businesses and increase awareness in the community about the proposed bans. The City of Revelstoke will be developing a variety of communication and education materials for this purpose. In addition to the toolkit for businesses, it is anticipated that there will also be a need for point-of-sale materials and broader awareness communication throughout Revelstoke. To help ensure that the materials being developed reflect the needs of business, the City has pulled together examples of what has been done in other cities with similar bans for discussion and feedback, which will be used to develop materials tailored to the needs of Revelstoke businesses and their customers.

Proposed Bylaw to Ban Single-Use Plastics and Other Items

Single-use items are primarily made from fossil fuels and are designed to be used one time and then typically disposed of by being sent to the landfill. We all know it’s better to avoid single-use items. In Revelstoke, a proposed bylaw to ban plastic checkout bags, foam containers and plastic straws will be sent to Council for final adoption this fall.

As Single-Use Items Regulation Bylaw No. 2263 goes through the approval process, the City of Revelstoke will work with affected businesses to support the transition to better options. The City will also raise awareness about the proposed ban in the community and why it is important to avoid single-use items.

It’s time to change the way we look at waste. Instead of creating large amounts of unnecessary waste from single-use items, we need to select materials that can be composted, re-used or recycled multiple times into new products. Changes like these take leadership.



1. Why we're banning single-use items

The City of Revelstoke is taking the lead to reduce reliance on some common single-use items, and encourage other communities in Canada and around the world to implement similar measures to help reduce plastic waste and pollution in oceans and other natural areas. While the initial steps involve the proposed bylaw to ban plastic checkout bags, foam food service ware and plastic straws, the City will continue to explore other ways to reduce single-use items that result in unnecessary waste and pollution. We know it’s important to make these changes, and we want to work with local businesses to make it happen.

Businesses in Revelstoke will play a key role in shifting to better options for the environment. We encourage you to share your feedback about the proposed bylaw and your ideas about how to reduce reliance on single-use items, as well as your preferences for alternative products and communication materials.

SINGLE-USE IS WASTEFUL AND NOT SUSTAINABLE

  • It’s time to shift to a circular economy, where the materials we use stay in circulation to be used, re-used and recycled multiple times into new products.
  • This shift from single-use to a circular economy is more sustainable because it reduces reliance on new raw materials and reduces waste going to landfills.
  • Reducing waste from single-use items also helps to address problems like ocean pollution.

RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT – BUT REDUCING WASTE IS ESSENTIAL

  • While many single-use items can be recycled at the Revelstoke Recycling Depot, it’s important to remember that most single-use items are very low quality and cannot be recycled more than a couple times – at most. Eventually, they are just waste going to a landfill.
  • Some items, like plastic bags labelled biodegradable or compostable, are actually not accepted for composting and are also not recyclable, which means these bags can only be put in the garbage.
  • It’s equally critical to reduce waste overall by re-using items, making smart decisions when shopping to reduce packaging and other waste, and avoiding single-use items whenever possible.

2. Proposed bylaw to ban single-use items in Revelstoke

Under the proposed Single-Use Items Regulation Bylaw No. 2263, City of Revelstoke Council is taking the lead to ban single-use items that are creating huge amounts of unnecessary waste.

THE PROPOSED BYLAW WOULD BAN:

  • Plastic checkout bags, including shopping bags and grocery bags
  • Foam food service ware, including but not limited to containers, plates and cups
  • Plastic straws

It is recognized that there are some exceptions that must be accommodated within the proposed bylaw to address health and safety considerations, accessibility and bulk purchasing of these items. This section includes an overview of each category within the proposed ban and the exemptions that apply.

Revelstoke City Council has completed the first step toward introducing Bylaw 2263 by giving the proposed bylaw First Reading, and authorizing the community engagement process. The City is now looking to businesses, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce and the community to provide feedback on the best way to implement the ban when it is approved, including input on proposed alternatives and tips on how to avoid single-use items.

WHO IS AFFECTED

Under this proposed bylaw, a business is defined as any person, organization or group engaged in a trade, business, profession, occupation, calling, employment or purpose that is regulated under the City’s Business Licensing & Regulation Bylaw No. 1503, and includes a person employed by, or operating on behalf of, a business.

Upon adoption of the bylaw, if you operate a business within Revelstoke, including commercial, retail and food vendor/restaurants, or provide retail or food services at an event, you will be required to comply with the bans.

Did you know…

Some items may appear like a better option but are actually worse – such as plastic bags labelled compostable or biodegradable, which are not accepted for composting in the region and are not recyclable, so these items end up in the garbage.


PART 1: PLASTIC CHECKOUT BAGS

“Except as provided in this Bylaw, no Business shall sell or otherwise provide a Plastic Checkout Bag to a customer.”

Plastic checkout bags include any bag made with plastic, including biodegradable or compostable plastic, that is intended to be used by the customer for the purpose of transporting items purchased or received from the business, or intended to be used to package take-out or delivery food. Alternatives to plastic bags include cloth bags, natural straw baskets, backpacks and totes to name a few.

There are a number of accepted uses for plastic bags that will remain permitted under the proposed bylaw, as listed in the exemptions below.

EXEMPTIONS

  • Businesses will be able to provide a plastic checkout bag to a customer if the bag has been returned to the business for the purpose of being reused by other customers. This is intended to support charitable organizations and thrift stores who commonly use this practice to cut costs for their customers and reuse materials already in circulation.
  • Plastic checkout bags may be used as packaging for any of the following:
  • Loose bulk food items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains or candy;
  • Loose small hardware items such as nails or bolts;
  • Frozen food, meat, poultry or fish, whether pre-packaged or not;
  • Flowers or potted plants;
  • Prepared foods or bakery goods that are not pre-packaged; and
  • Prescription drugs received from a pharmacy.
  • Plastic checkout bags may also be used for:
  • Transporting live fish;
  • Protecting linens, bedding or other similar large items;
  • Protecting newspapers or other printed material intended to be left at the customer’s residence or place of business; or
  • Protecting clothes after professional laundering or dry cleaning.
  • The sale of plastic bags intended for use at a customer’s home or business will be permitted under the bylaw provided that they are sold in packages of multiple bags.


COMPOSTABLE/ BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC

As a part of the proposed bylaw, the City will include bans on compostable and biodegradable plastic checkout bags and plastic straws.

Compostable/biodegradable plastic are not guaranteed to biodegrade if littered or in industrial compost facilities because standards and certifications are not aligned with existing infrastructure that is designed to compost food scraps and yard waste. Often times, small flecks of plastic remain in the end product, rendering the product contaminated.


PART 2: PLASTIC STRAWS

“No business shall sell or otherwise provide any Plastic Straws.”

If adopted, this means that businesses will not be able to sell or provide any drinking straw made with plastic, including biodegradable plastic or compostable plastic.

EXEMPTIONS

  • Businesses will be able to provide plastic straws to people with accessibility needs when requested.
  • The sale of plastic straws intended for use at a customer’s home or business will be permitted under the bylaw provided that they are sold in packages of multiple straws.


PART 3: FOAM CONTAINERS

“No business shall sell or otherwise provide Prepared Food in any Food Service Ware that contains Polystyrene Foam.”

If adopted, this means that businesses in Revelstoke will not be able to sell or provide prepared food in any foam food service ware, which includes but is not limited to plates, cups, bowls, trays, cartons, and hinged or lidded containers. Prepared food includes any food or beverage prepared for consumption by a customer. It does not include any raw, uncooked food, including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs or vegetables unless provided for consumption without further food preparation.

EXEMPTIONS

  • This ban does not apply to hospitals or any facility licensed as a community care facility under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act as these facilities have special health safety requirements.
  • Organizations incorporated and in good standing under the Society Act, or registered as a charitable society or organization under the federal Income Tax Act, will have 18 months after adoption to comply (compared to 12 months for other businesses).
  • Prepared food containers that have been filled and sealed outside of the City of Revelstoke prior to arrival at the business location will be permitted under the bylaw.


IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

Bylaw 2263 is scheduled for final adoption this fall. The date of adoption will be used to initiate new phases of the bylaw implementation:

  • Effective Date of the Proposed Bylaw: 6 months after Council’s final adoption;
  • Enforcement Date of the Proposed Bylaw: 12 months after Council’s final adoption (6 months after effective date to provide businesses time to use up existing supplies); and
  • Expiry of Charitable Organizations Exemption in the Proposed Bylaw: The exemption for charitable societies and organizations will end 18 months after Council’s final adoption of the Proposed Bylaw.

The City will begin the enforcement phase by continuing education and working with businesses to support their compliance efforts. This will be a staged approach to ensure that businesses have all the information and resources necessary to successfully comply. Penalties will be laid only once sufficient education and notice has been issued to the business in non-compliance.

The penalties for not complying with the bylaw include fines of up to $10,000 and no less than $1,000, as well as any costs of the prosecution.


Did you know…

The more we purchase items with recycled content, the more demand will increase for these types of products. This supports the economic viability of recycling collection programs and the City of Revelstoke Council Priority of Sustainability through making decisions to satisfy the needs of the present without adversely affecting the ability of future generations.


SUPPORTING BUSINESSES

We recognize that this is a significant change for our local businesses, and we want to work with you to implement the transition from banned items to accepted alternatives. We are providing support in a number of ways.

I. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

As part of community outreach, the City is providing opportunities for residents to ask questions and share comments on the proposed Bylaw 2263 via Talk Revelstoke.

II. RESEARCH AND FEEDBACK ON ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTS

City staff have conducted research on a number of acceptable alternatives to replace the banned items. The City will provide businesses with a list of proposed alternatives, what types of materials are accepted –and those that are not. As part of the awareness period, the City is reaching out to businesses to review the alternatives being proposed and collect feedback on other options.

III. RESEARCH AND FEEDBACK ON COMMUNICATION SUPPORT

If the proposed Bylaw is approved and adopted, the City will undertake a further communication campaign to help raise awareness in the community about the new bans. In addition, the City will develop and provide both a toolkit for local businesses to help guide selection of acceptable alternatives, as well as point-of-sale materials that businesses can use to inform their customers about the City’s ban.

IV. COORDINATION AND COOPERATION WITH OTHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT

It is evident that bans of this nature are more effective when applied consistently. The City of Revelstoke will be petitioning the provincial government to encourage legislation and policy, and has provided feedback on the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan that will be consistent with the City’s bylaw. Staff will also follow and respond to updates on the federal government’s announcement to ban single-use items in future.

3. Alternatives to replace banned materials

While single-use plastics create unnecessary waste and pollution, finding replacement products is not always as straight-forward as it appears. As part of the implementation of the proposed ban, the City of Revelstoke will be developing a toolkit for businesses to assist them in transitioning to alternative products prior to adoption of the bylaw. To ensure the list is comprehensive and provides viable options for business, it is important to hear back from affected business about proposed alternatives and other options available.

TIPS FOR ASSESSING ALTERNATIVES

Some alternatives are better than others as they use less energy to produce and can be reused for a long time. When making choices that are the best option for the environment, it’s important to note the life cycle considerations outlined below.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN ASSESSING ALTERNATIVES

  • Recyclable food service ware that is recycled or has a higher recycling rate at end-of-life is frequently found to have lower environmental impacts across all impact categories.
  • Materials like paper that are both compostable and recyclable often result in higher energy savings when they are recycled instead of composted.
  • Compostable food service ware is often found to increase rates of food scraps recycling.
  • Plastic bags labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” are not permitted under the proposed ban as they are not accepted at composting facilities and cannot be recycled.


PURCHASING TIPS

  • Ensure the product does not contain poly- and per-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) which are used as moisture or oil barriers. PFAS are chemicals that linger in the environment and can have negative health impacts.
  • Choose unbleached paper bags over bleached and look for recycled content.
  • Look for reusable bags with recycled plastic content to reduce environmental impact.
  • Look for reusable bags that can be used at least 100 times and are washable.
  • For net shopping bags, hemp may be better than cotton as it requires less energy to grow and harvest.


PURCHASING AND USAGE GUIDELINES

WHAT TO ASK SUPPLIERS WHEN SELECTING ALTERNATIVES

How are the products produced?

What resources are required for their production?

Considerations:

  • Look for products that take steps to reduce the amount of resources in production – increasing the amount of recycled content is a great option.


Does it include recycled content?

Considerations:

  • Look for products that contain recycled content as this can help reduce greenhouse gases by almost 70%.


The product is “eco-friendly” but what is it made of?

Is there a plastic lining or has a coating been applied to make it waterproof?

Is it just one material or a blend?

Considerations:

  • If it’s made out of paper, ask if it has a lining.
  • If there is a plastic lining, ask if it is regular plastic (commonly polypropylene) or compostable plastic (commonly polylactic acid).
  • If it is regular plastic, this item is accepted for residential recycling in the City’s Blue Box program.
  • If lined with compostable plastic, the item will not be accepted in either the recycling or compost in Revelstoke and should be disposed of in the garbage.
  • If there is a coating, ask if it contains poly- and per-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are chemicals that are used as moisture or oil barriers – these chemicals often linger in the environment and negatively impact human health.
  • Look for products that are made from one material as it is easier to recycle correctly. Products with multiple materials are often difficult to separate and recycle.


How do they recommend the product be disposed of?

Considerations:

  • Check with your recycling provider to ensure the product aligns with the recycling requirements.


Can the product be reused multiple times?

Considerations:

  • Look for items that can be used as many times as possible to keep them out of the landfill longer.


SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVES

The City has compiled an initial list of alternative materials that businesses and residents can use to select items that are reusable or can be recycled multiple times. It is recommended businesses inquire with their service provider to determine which recycling stream their materials should be diverted to.


STRAWS

Types of Straws Banned in the Proposed Bylaw:

  • Plastic straws
  • Biodegradable plastic straws
  • Compostable plastic straws


Suggested Alternatives:

REPLACE WITH...
REUSE
RECYCLE
Metal*


Glass*


Silicone*


Bamboo*


Hard Plastic*


*Customers may bring these items to help reduce plastic waste. Please adhere to your food safety sanitation plan.


CONTAINERS AND CUPS

Types of Containers and Cups Banned in the Proposed Bylaw:

  • Polystyrene foam


Suggested Alternatives:

REPLACE WITH...
REUSE
RECYCLE
Fibre-based with polypropylene plastic lining


Recyclable Plastic


Ceramic*


Glass*


Metal*


Bamboo*


Hard Plastic*


*Customers may bring these items to help reduce plastic waste. Please adhere to your food safety sanitation plan.


CHECKOUT BAGS

Types of Checkout Bags Banned in the Proposed Bylaw:

  • Plastic checkout bags
  • Biodegradable plastic
  • Compostable plastic


Suggested Alternatives:

REPLACE WITH...
REUSE
RECYCLE
Paper bags



Reusable plastic (woven polypropylene, non-woven polypropylene)*


Natural cloth (cotton, hemp)*


*Customers may bring these items to help reduce plastic waste. Please adhere to your food safety sanitation plan.


4. Communication and education support

The next step in this process is community engagement. During this time we will be looking at ways to support businesses and increase awareness in the community about the proposed bans. The City of Revelstoke will be developing a variety of communication and education materials for this purpose. In addition to the toolkit for businesses, it is anticipated that there will also be a need for point-of-sale materials and broader awareness communication throughout Revelstoke. To help ensure that the materials being developed reflect the needs of business, the City has pulled together examples of what has been done in other cities with similar bans for discussion and feedback, which will be used to develop materials tailored to the needs of Revelstoke businesses and their customers.

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Page last updated: 28 September 2021, 15:54