Caution | Outdoor water restrictions in effect

Stage 3 outdoor water restrictions are in effect. Learn more about how City services are impacted and what you can do during this stage.

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Single-use items reduction strategy How we are reducing single-use items

Single-use items such as plastic shopping bags, utensils, straws, and napkins are designed to be used only once before being thrown away. These items are a great opportunity for businesses and Calgarians to reduce their waste because they can easily be avoided or replaced with reusable options. When we use fewer single-use items, less will be thrown away or end up as litter. 

The Single-Use Items Bylaw is no longer in effect.

Businesses will no longer be required to:

  • Charge a minimum fee for new paper and reusable shopping bags.
  • Provide shopping bags by request only.
  • Provide foodware accessories by request only.

Even though the bylaw is no longer in effect, businesses can voluntarily continue with any waste reduction practices they may have implemented.

Calgarians can expect that some businesses may apply:

  • A fee to shopping bags.
  • To ask them if they require any foodware accessories before providing them.

The bylaw did not require business to charge for cups, lids, condiments, etc. Businesses may apply a fee to these items as part of their operations.

Contact us

If you have questions regarding the repeal, or waste reduction practices fill out the online service request below or contact 311.

Supporting documents

Help reduce single-use items

Each week in Calgary, millions of single-use items are thrown in the garbage.

Why are single-use items a problem

It’s the way we use single-use products.

  • These products are used once then thrown away in the garbage in large amounts.
  • They end up as litter in our streets and parks or in the environment where they can harm our rivers, land and wildlife.
  • These products use significant raw materials and energy to make and dispose of for them to only be used once. 

What can we do about it

The best and most preferred way to reduce single-use item waste is to stop using them whenever possible.

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.

We have gotten use to the convenience of everyday single-use items where things are used once and then thrown away. Recycling and composting are good options when necessary, but we can do better by not making waste in the first place.

We all benefit when there is less single-use item waste

  • Communities and public spaces are more enjoyable with less single-use litter.
  • Reduces negative environmental impacts to our water bodies, land and wildfire connected with producing, using, and disposing of these items.
  • Helps manage individual and business waste effectively lessening the burden on recycling and composting systems.
  • Preserves existing landfill space longer, delaying the need for creating new costly landfills.
  • Helps businesses cut down on product costs when customers use fewer single-use items.