Proposed Single-Use Items Bylaw

Single-use items are intended for one use before they are thrown away. These include grocery bags, straws, containers, cups, and cutlery. 

The Town of Banff has developed a Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy that combines voluntary and regulatory measures that will help reduce single-use items. The Town strives to be a model environmental community, adopting and implementing innovative programs to protect and enhance the natural environment.

 Guiding Principles of the Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy  

  • Intentional use of the word items rather than only plastics    
  • Move away from disposable and avoid unintended consequences  
  • Focus on to-stay, bring your own, and reusables, NOT disposable items made of alternative materials   
  • Focus on unnecessary convenience items and what we can control as a municipality   
  • Integrated approach and made in Banff solution, informed by best practice 

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Proposed Single-Use Items Bylaw 

To complement voluntary programs and initiatives, the Town of Banff is developing a Single-Use Items Bylaw with regulatory measures to reduce single-use items. A bylaw will provide businesses and residents with clear, consistent practices that make sense in Banff’s unique context.

A public survey and information webinar were held in September 2022 to gather feedback on the proposed bylaw. Learn more at banffviewpoints.ca/singleuse 

A draft bylaw will be presented to Council in Q4 of 2022. If passed, a grace period of at least six months would be granted prior to the bylaw coming into effect.

The proposed bylaw would include the following regulations: 

Require that businesses provide reusable products for dine-in services 

  • Includes any food or beverages that are consumed on the premises of a business; this includes plates, bowls, cups, and accessory items  
  • Businesses that do not have seating on their premises and are take-away only must provide a reusable option for take-away services 

Customer must request accessory items like utensils, straws, and pre-packaged condiments  

  • Includes single-use spoons, forks, knives, chopsticks, utensils, straws, stir sticks, splash sticks, cocktail sticks, toothpicks, pre-packaged condiments, and napkins 
  • Self-serve stations are not permitted  

Businesses must have a written policy to accept reusable customer cups and containers 

  • Businesses may set their own standards for when they will accept customer cups and containers; for example, they can refuse unsanitary customer containers.  
  • Supports individuals, especially locals, who are able and choose to bring their own reusable items   

Businesses must charge a minimum fee of $0.50 on disposable cups  

  • Targets customers who do not bring their own mug 
  • Businesses are also encouraged to offer a discount for reusable cups as well; however, research shows that fees are more effective than discounts in changing behavior  

Plastic bags would be banned, and businesses must charge a minimum fee on paper ($0.25) and reusable ($2) 

  • Higher fee for reusable bags helps avoid unintended consequences of over purchasing  

Any remaining disposable food ware must be recyclable or compostable within Banff’s waste streams  

  • Ensures that any disposable food ware used is accepted in Banff’s streams if sorted properly