The Canadian city is well on its way to becoming one of the greenest places on Earth.
Keurig coffee pods and plastic cups might be convenient, but they are absolutely horrendous for the environment. Not only do they and other single-use packaging items clutter up landfills, they slowly leach chemicals into the eco-system as they decompose over hundreds — if not thousands — of years. Fortunately, the city of Vancouver is taking a stand against single-use packaging and has plans to eliminate it benefit the environment.
GoodNewsNetwork reports that seven years ago, the city launched their Greenest City Action Plan which entailed reducing landfill waste by 50%. Now, officials have consulted with local businesses and are developing strategic replacements for styrofoam containers, single-use coffee cups and plastic bags in a bid to rid them from the area. Over the next week, members of the community council will be able to present alternatives to the city council. If suitable options are found, Vancouver may completely eliminate single-use packaging in the near future.
To ensure the initiative benefits all, the city will be working with small business owners so they are not overburdened financially by new rules that restrict single-use packaging. In September, a public survey will be made available. Because 2.6 million polycoat-type paper coffee cups are dumped into city landfills every week, something has to be done to preserve the environment and slow climate change. A potential alternative to single-use coffee cups is compostable and/or recyclable cups which do cost slightly more but will biodegrade in rapid time.
Said Councilwoman Andrea Reimer, “[The cups] takes up about 22 percent of the volume of our on-street garbage system, and they’re costing us literally millions of dollars to deal with.”
By 2040, Vancouver seeks to become a Zero-Waste city. With initiatives such as this one, it will surely meet that goal. In fact, a spokesperson for the city’s communication department told the press that Vancouver is well on its way to becoming one of the greenest cities on the planet. Mayor Gregor Robertson added,
“Cities around the world must show continued leadership to meet the urgent challenge of climate change, and the most impactful change we can make is a shift toward 100% of our energy being derived from renewable sources,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The future of Vancouver’s economy and livability will depend on our ability to confront and adapt to climate change. Moving toward 100% renewable energy is another way that Vancouver is working to become the greenest city in the world.”
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