VANCOUVER, B.C. – In response to the ABC majority eliminating Vancouver’s 25 cent disposable cup fee program, Green Councillor Pete Fry, National Zero Waste Council director and chair of the Council’s working group on product design and packaging, issued the following statement:
“The program was definitely not perfect, but ABC’s move to eliminate any accountability around single use cups is even worse than the program itself.
“A carrot rather than stick approach would’ve worked better, that’s why my amendment aimed to provide discounts to customers who bring their own cups. People who bring their own reusable beverage containers shouldn’t have to pay for the cost of disposable cups that are embedded in the transaction — that's the real giveaway to big business.”
At the committee meeting, Councillor Fry put forward amendments to:
- Provide a discount to customers who bring their own cup(s)
- Require food vendors to itemize and identify the cost of single-use beverage cup(s) distributed to a customer
- Direct staff to report back with options to re-initiate and fund a binner program to collect and redeem some of Vancouver’s estimated 80 million annually discarded single use cups
- Give the industry a chance to report back on the cup by-law and honour the scheduled September analysis of the program in order to make an evidence-based decision and allow industry and consumer transition underway.
All four amendments were voted down by the ABC majority.
“The reality is that the cost of single-use items is built into the price of every beverage we purchase, and that has never changed. One of the goals of the cup-fee program was to make consumers aware of the cost of disposable cups. Businesses should be transparent about what they’re charging and people should know what they’re paying for; and taxpayers should know that this corporate convenience costs our bottom line to dispose of.
“Our city, like our world, is drowning in single-use waste: over 80 million single-use cups alone are discarded annually in Vancouver. It’s simply not sustainable; we’re going to end up paying for it one way or another.”