Public Market Plastic Shopping Bag Phase-out

April 1, 2016

Starting on April 1st, Granville Island Public Market begins its phase-out of plastic single-use (PSU) shopping bags. By eliminating PSU shopping bags and offering alternative options, we can not only reduce our own waste, we can also support Metro Vancouver in achieving regional waste reduction goals.

The elimination of the PSU bags is only the latest step in reducing the waste generated on Granville Island. Over that last 3 years, we have worked with our coffee vendors to ensure that all coffee cups used in the Public Market are compostable. Additionally, we have worked with our food vendors to successfully eliminate polystyrene from our food services, replacing this material with either compostable or recyclable options.

Coffee cups, polystyrene food containers and PSU bags are the most common items that end up in the mixed waste (trash) stream. These actions have made a huge difference reducing the amount of mixed waste on Granville Island.

As part of Metro-Vancouver’s overall waste management plan, all users across the region must have an 80% diversion rate by 2020. This means that 80% of what we used to throw in the trash must go into compostable or recyclable streams. Over the last 4 years, through working with tenants, our staff, our waste haulers and our customers, we have successfully achieved a 60% diversion rate on the Island. Over the next 4 years we think an additional 20% is definitely achievable.