The government of British Columbia (BC) has established a new provincial regulation to tackle hard-to-recycle single-use plastic waste, as part of its broader ‘CleanBC Plastics Action Plan’.

The regulation will help expand BC’s existing initiative to manage single-use plastic waste.

The government said that before this implementation, local businesses and residents will have several months to research how the law works. This will also provide businesses time to clear their inventory of existing single-use plastics.

Once implemented, the expanded ‘Single-Use and Plastic Waste Prevention Regulation’ will prohibit the use of various single-use plastic items, including oxodegradable plastics, shopping bags, and disposable food service accessories.

It will also encompass any foodservice packaging that is made using polystyrene foam, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinylidene chloride, as well as biodegradable plastics.

Environment and Climate Change Strategy minister for BC George Heyman said: “As part of our government’s CleanBC Plastics Action Plan, the regulation strengthens our efforts to prevent plastic waste and pollution and ensure a better future for the people of BC through a healthier environment.

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“Focusing on hard-to-recycle single-use and plastic items will help move BC to a circular economy where waste and pollution are eliminated, products and materials are kept in the economy through reuse, and natural systems are regenerated.”

Since its initial launch in 2019, the initiative has helped roughly 21 municipalities establish new bylaws to limit single-use plastics in their respective communities.

Last December, the government imposed a ban on the manufacturing and import of six plastic items: drinking straws, cutlery, checkout bags, ring carriers, foodservice ware, and stir sticks.

The rules will come into effect from December this year.