Single-Use Items Reduction Bylaw

The City of Spruce Grove is taking action to help reduce the amount of plastic contaminating our environment.

On February 22, 2021, City Council approved the Single-Use Items Reduction Bylaw which bans the use of plastic checkout bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene food service ware.

The bylaw comes into effect January 1, 2022, and the remaining months in 2021 will allow for businesses and residents to transition to new ways of operating, shopping, and dining.  

Learn more about what this bylaw means for businesses and consumers

FAQ

Single-use items are products that are typically used only once before they are discarded. This includes items such as plastic and paper retail bags, plastic straws, take-out containers, coffee cups, stir sticks, disposable cutlery, sandwich bags, and more.

Starting January 1, 2022, the following items will be banned (with exceptions):

  • Plastic checkout bags including retail bags made from fossil fuel products and plastics that are labelled as compostable, degradable, or made from plants or other biological materials.
  • Polystyrene food service ware used for packaging leftovers, take-out, delivery, and serving food consumed on premises including but not limited to plates, cups, bowls, trays, cartons, and hinged (clamshell) or lidded containers.
  • Plastic straws

Each year residents of Spruce Grove throw away an average of 6.73 million single-use items such as plastic bags, take-away containers, and plastic straws. Most often these items cannot be recycled and end up littering our city, taking up space in our landfills, and causing long lasting environmental damage.

Yes.  The ban does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • Products sold for personal use or items sold in bulk e.g. black garbage bags, box of straws, etc.
  • Straws or polystyrene distributed to individuals at hospitals, day program sites, and continuing care facilities.
  • Plastic bags used to protect prepared foods, loose items, medications, dry cleaning, and some bulk items.
  • Where beverages are served and consumed, businesses are required to provide an accessible plastic straw at the customer’s request. An accessible straw refers to a flexible plastic straw, individually wrapped in paper.

For businesses

Starting January 1, 2022, businesses will no longer be allowed to provide or use plastic checkout bags, polystyrene serving ware, and plastic straws (with exceptions).

The City of Spruce Grove is supporting businesses throughout this transition and we have developed a toolkit that provides business owners with information, education material, and advice on communicating with customers. We’ll also be looking at ways to help promote businesses as they adopt these new ways of operating.

To encourage the use of reusable bags, businesses may charge customers a minimum of $1.00 for a reusable checkout bag and 15 cents for a paper checkout bag.

The ban does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • Products sold for personal use or items sold in bulk e.g. black garbage bags, box of straws etc.
  • Straws or polystyrene distributed to individuals at hospitals, day program sites, and continuing care facilities.
  • Plastic bags used to protect prepared foods, loose items, medications, dry cleaning, and some bulk items.
  • Where beverages are served and consumed, businesses are required to provide an accessible plastic straw at the customer’s request. An accessible straw refers to a flexible plastic straw, individually wrapped in paper.

Enforcement

If a licensed business is found to be non-compliant with the bylaw, there are several actions the City may take.

Initial actions will focus on education, outreach, and support to help businesses comply with the bylaw requirements. Following these initial actions, increasing levels of enforcement will be used.

For consumers

Starting January 1, 2022, consumers will no longer be able to receive or buy plastic checkout bags. Everyone is encouraged to bring reusable bags while shopping.

Businesses may charge customers a minimum of $1.00 for a reusable checkout bag and 15 cents for a paper checkout bag.

Plastic straws will not be provided by food vendors unless requested by customers. The banning of polystyrene serving ware is expected to have minimal impact on consumers as there are several alternatives that businesses may use.

Questions?