Posted: March 9, 2020
The District of Tofino is considering amendments to the Single Use Item Regulation Bylaw to allow an exemption to provide plastic straws for people with diverse abilities & ban polystyrene foam containers for prepared foods.
Exemption for the Provision of Straws:
During the development of the Bylaw, comments from the public raised important concerns about ableism and accessibility - some people cannot use metal or other hard material straws due to muculoskeletal disorders or injuries, and paper straws do not hold up in hot beverages. Provisions were included in the original Bylaw to ensure that those who require plastic straws were able to bring their own to establishments in Tofino.
Upon further reflection and consultation, the District is considering an explicit exemption to allow businesses to provide plastic straws to those who require them, upon request, in order to ensure maximum accessibility for people with diverse abilities. Individuals will not be required to provide any medical information to prove their need — and should not be asked.
Prohibition of Polystyrene Foam Containers:
Foam is the most collected pollutant on beach clean ups in our region. As polystyrene does not biodegrade, the material continues to break down into small pieces, which makes it increasingly difficult to clean up over time. Moreover, although polystyrene is recyclable, it can only be recycled when it's clean and dry and, on the West Coast, plastic foam is not collected curbside meaning it must be delivered to a recycling depot.
The proposed revisions to the Bylaw prohibit businesses from providing prepared food in polystyrene foam containers. This includes prepared food that is consumed on the premises, served as take-out or delivery, or packaged as leftovers, and covers plates, cups, bowls, trays, cartons, and hinged (“clamshell”) or lidded containers, etc.
The prohibition on foam would not apply to hospitals or community care facilities, or to foam trays used for uncooked meat, poultry, seafood, or other food that requires further preparation.