Big news, foodies and errand-do-ers. A new bylaw is now in effect in Calgary and it’ll affect the way you shop and dine in and around the city.

As of Tuesday, January 16th, 2024, single-use items will have to be requested or purchased for a small fee in hopes of reducing waste and bettering the environment.

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This, of course, is similar to the Federal Government’s ban on problematic plastics with a few minor changes made to really push the initiative forward.

“The Government of Canada’s approach is to prevent problematic plastics from entering the market through a ban on the manufacture of plastic shopping bags, plastic straws, stir sticks, utensils, foam cups, and other types of plastics that are difficult to recycle, ” the city writes on their website.

“The City’s new bylaw will reduce waste by encouraging Calgarians to choose reusable options where possible and to only ask for the single-use items they need.”

So, what exactly does this mean for the consumer? 

Effective today, cutlery, condiment packets and other accessories will only be provided on request – this includes dine-in, take-out drive-thru and delivery.

In addition, shopping bags will only be provided on request and cost a minimum of $0.15 (increase to $0.25 in 2025) for paper bags, while new reusable shopping bags will cost a minimum of $1 (increase to $2 in 2025).

This includes bags used for take-out drive-thru and delivery orders.

The following table explains how this bylaw differs from the Government of Canada’s policy: 

Photo via City of Calgary

“The best way to reduce single-use item waste is to stop using them whenever possible,” the city continues.

“By refusing single-use items and choosing reusable options, you will use fewer single-use items. This means less will be thrown away in the garbage or end up as litter.”

For further information, plus tips and tricks on building a routine please visit the City of Calgary’s website, otherwise – don’t forget your tote bags and glass straws!

The winds of change are blowing!