Vancouver votes to ban plastic straws, foam cups and containers by June 2019

FILE PHOTO: A woman drinks from a paper cup through a plastic straw on Westminster Bridge in London

Vancouver has voted to ban the distribution of plastic straws as well as foam take-out containers and cups as part of its zero-waste strategy.

The ban will be introduced on June 1, 2019. 

The move is part of the city's Zero Waste 2040 strategy, which was approved by councillors in a vote on Wednesday.

Council also approved a new, flexible bylaw to reduce the amount of disposable cups, as well as plastic and paper shopping bags handed out across the city.

Under the bylaw, a statement said, businesses must choose one of the following options:

- No distribution of disposable cups or plastic/paper shopping bags at all.

- Charging an extra fee for disposable cups or plastic/paper shopping bags.

- Other solutions that will be proposed and finalized through consultation.

A statement said the city will bring in an outright distribution ban on single-use bags and cups if the reduction plans don't lead to the city reaching its target reduction rate by 2021.

The city said it plans to invest in education to support small businesses "as they transition to using more sustainable packaging materials."

A statement said 2.6 million plastic-lined paper cups and two million plastic bags are thrown in the garbage in Vancouver every week.