Calls mount for Alberta’s insane single use plastics bylaws to be scrapped 

Keean Bexte

January 29, 2024

Albertans are voicing their opposition to the single-use plastics bylaws imposed by both Calgary and Edmonton city councils. 

Calls mount for Alberta’s single use plastics bylaws to be scrapped 

The bylaws, particularly the one in Calgary, have become a point of contention, especially among fast-food restaurant customers who are now required to specifically request items like napkins, or pay $0.15 for a paper bag to carry their food.

On January 27th, Premier Smith sought public opinion through a social media poll, asking, “Do you support the ‘single-use items bylaw’ in Calgary and Edmonton that forces consumers to use paper straws and request napkins with their meals?” 

The response was overwhelming, with over 36,000 participants and 87.2% voting against the bylaw.

Calgary’s single use plastics bylaw came into effect on January 16th. The purpose of it is to reduce waste by targeting items that can be replaced with reusable alternatives. It covers a range of items including shopping bags, foam take-out containers, single-use cups, and plastic utensils. 

Edmonton’s bylaw, which took effect on July 1st, 2023, follows a similar trajectory in reducing single-use plastics. But the implementation from both cities has led to some practical challenges for consumers. 

“What am I supposed to do … put it all in my hands to go out of the store? It’s wrong,” said one customer, Dana Fisher.

Another customer said he refuses to pay 15 cents for a paper bag so he carries all his fast food items out in his arms.

However, other customers have shown support for the new rules.

City councilors to review the bylaw

Calgary Councillor Andre Chabot said he received over 50 emails on Friday morning alone from individuals upset over Calgary mayor Gondek’s bylaw.

“Mostly I’ve heard from folks saying they think it’s ridiculous that they have to ask for a napkin or that they have to ask for a spoon, or that they have to ask for a straw,” he said.

Gondek acknowledged the growing discontent with the bylaw on Monday, stating that an update would be discussed at the next City Council meeting.

Stop the stupidity

Thousands of people have already signed the petition calling on the unpopular mayor to reverse course and allow restaurants to hand out napkins again. Click here to add your name.

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