Coun. Ned Taylor wants the Capital Regional District (CRD) to ban single-use Styrofoam cups and containers. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Saanich councillor calls for regional ban of Styrofoam cups and containers

Coun. Ned Taylor said these items foul up the environment

A Saanich councillor wants the Capital Regional District (CRD) to ban single-use Styrofoam cups and containers.

Coun. Ned Taylor said these items have a negative impact on oceans, streams, wildlife, other aspects of our natural environment. They litter streets, parks and other parts of the urban infrastructure, he said.

“Single-use [Styrofoam] cups and containers, although convenient, are wasteful and unnecessary,” he said. “There are alternatives readily available to businesses and residents which are proven to be less harmful, less wasteful, and equally as convenient.”

It is not clear how many Styrofoam cups and containers are circulating through the region, but the figure is likely significant, when extrapolating from other jurisdictions. Consider the United States, where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that residents of that country trash approximately 25 billion Styrofoam cups and take-out containers every year.

RELATED: Saanich officially adopts bylaw banning single-use plastic bags

A number of North American jurisdictions plan or have already banned single-use Styrofoam cups and containers, with the European Union (EU) being the most significant. It will ban them by 2021 as part of a larger ban that includes almost a dozen single-use products including plastic plates, cutlery, cups, straws, plastic sticks in cotton swabs, balloon sticks and stir sticks.

The Canadian government has recently announced that it plans to closely follow the EU initative without being specific about whether it plans to ban Styrofoam cups and containers.

Styrofoam cups and containers are not just a source of physical waste. Their manufacture and nature also pose a number of environmental and health risks

Styrofoam — the trade-marked name for polystyrene — is a product made out of petroleum, a non-sustainable resource, whose production releases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which contribute to climate change and undermine the Ozone layer protecting Earth from harmful radiation.

While recyclable, Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and scientists consider it a major source of marine debris affecting aquatic life.

Medical research has also identified Styrene, the primary ingredient of polystyrene, as a possible human carcinogen that can impact the human nervous and reproductive systems.

Taylor’s demand to ban single-use Styrofoam cups and containers appears in a notice of motion that he, fellow Saanich Coun. Rebecca Mersereau, and Gary Holman, director for the Salt Spring Island Electoral Area, made at the most recent meeting of the CRD’s parks and environment committee meeting.

It calls on staff to report back with “options and implications for creating a model bylaw to ban single-use styrofoam cups and containers.” The committee will discuss the motion next month. If approved, it will go to the full board for discussion. Staff could then take up the work in late summer, early fall, assuming board approval.

Taylor, who does not have specific figures about the number of Styrofoam cups and containers circulating in the region, said it is not clear yet when staff would come back with a report.

“However, with multiple municipalities in the CRD implementing the plastic bag ban, I’d like to see us start the process on banning other single use waste items as well,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en supporters occupying legislature in Victoria hold mass day-long teach-in

Supporters opposing the pipeline enter day four at the B.C. legislature

Rain Walk returns Saturday to raise funds for cancer support

Rain Walk group Team Teal indebted to Inspire Health

Motion for Saanich to stand with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in pipeline debate postponed

One week delay provides more time to build community support, councillor says

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Shuswap boy wins hockey stick from NHL hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Surrey will replace its RCMP force with municipal police, province confirms

City of Surrey has been authorized to set up its own city police force

UPDATE: Boy, 5, will donate organs after crash that killed father, son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

Endangered butterfly species to be reintroduced to Hornby Island

Hornby Island is about to play a major role in the saving… Continue reading

Most Read