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Victoria could ban disposable coffee cups and take-out containers

(Source: iStock)

Takeout containers and single-use coffee cups could become a thing of the past in Victoria

Victoria is considering a ban as part of their four-year strategic plan

Council has not voted on the plan, and no bylaw has yet been created

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — In Victoria, you may soon have to bring your own mug to get your morning cup of coffee.

The City of Victoria will be considering a ban on single use coffee cups and takeout containers following the city’s decision to ban plastic bags this year. The move is part of the City’s draft Strategic Plan which sets out goals for the next four years. Council still needs to vote on whether or not to approve the plan before bylaws are created.

RELATED: Vancouver to cut down plastic waste by targeting straws, coffee cups

Mayor Lisa Helps says the ban is meant to help combat climate change.

“In the City of Victoria, 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from waste, and the quickest way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions with respect to waste is to reduce waste,” she says.

Like the plastic bag ban bylaw, she says there would be time for businesses to finish the rest of their cup and container stock, and a transition period where businesses are educated about the changes rather than fined. Fines for not complying with the bylaw would come later.

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Helps says she’s hoping the move will be welcomed by Victoria’s business community in the same way the city’s ban on plastic bags has been integrated into local business practices.

“We had a great success with the plastic bag ban … strongly supported by the business community, and the only way we can get to banning coffee cups and takeout containers is if we act as if we are all in this together,” she says. “I think that’s how we will all get there.”

Not only does she hope it will be accepted because it’s better for the environment, but she hopes it might also make good financial sense as well.

“I imagine it’s very costly. There aren’t very big margins for the restaurant industry, and to have to buy all those takeout cups and takeout containers – there’ll be a savings to restaurant industry,” she says. “But again, we’ll do it slowly and carefully, just like we have with the plastic bags.”

City staff will be hosting a meeting to get feedback from the public on the draft Strategic Plan in January.

– With files from Taran Parmar, Peter Wagner