The City of Spruce Grove is moving forward on developing a bylaw to ban the distribution of retail plastic bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene takeout containers and cups by fall of 2020. The ban will have an implementation period of one to one a half years (2020-2021) and will be in full effect by January 2022.
On November 25, 2019 Administration presented the Single-Use Items Reduction Strategy to Council. The Strategy was developed with input from regional stakeholders, industry experts and the public. Results of this engagement were presented at the November 18, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting. The Strategy outlines the following recommendations:
Council received this Strategy as information at the meeting and authorized Administration to proceed with the development of a complete ban on the distribution of retail plastic bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene takeout containers and cups by fall of 2020.
Single-use items are products that are used only once before they are discarded to landfill or recycled. In Spruce Grove and Alberta most single-use items made of plastics that are not recyclable due to a change in the global recycling markets. Examples of single-use items are: plastic retail bags, straws, take-out containers, coffee cups, stir sticks, disposable cutlery, sandwich bags and more.
In the summer of 2019, the City conducted a residential waste audit. It is estimated that the average household in Spruce Grove produces 11kg of single-use items per year. Of the single-use items, shopping bags were the most prevalent occupying 37% of all single-use items. Of these shopping bags 79% were used only once. When broken down by volume, of the 100 audited household, 652 plastic retail bags, 427 disposable straw and 49 polystyrene takeout containers or cups were found within a one week period. It was also noted that 92% of all single-use items disposed of in Spruce Grove were found in the garbage.