Two people in a crosswalk carrying cloth bags

Learn about the City's new Plastic Bags and Single-Use Items Bylaw, now in effect as of October 19, 2021.

The City's Plastic Bags and Single-Use Items Bylaw is now in effect. The Bylaw includes:

  • banning plastic checkout bags (including compostable and biodegradable);
  • introducing a charge of $0.25 per paper checkout bag and $2.00 per reusable checkout bag; and
  • banning Polystyrene foam cups, take-out containers, plates and bowls.

Updated timeline and enforcement

From January 1, 2022, enforcement will transition from compliance audits to warnings, prior to issuing fines and penalties. After this date, staff will use a gradual and discretionary enforcement approach with business that continue to be non-complaint.

Surrey is the first municipality in Metro Vancouver to ban plastic checkout bags.

Provincial update

The provincial government has enacted the Single-Use and Plastic Waste Prevention Regulation to phase out certain single-use items and address plastic waste in B.C. This regulation works together with the City's Bylaw. Learn more about the provincial regulation and strategy.

Resources for businesses

Tips for residents

  • Take reusable shopping bags to save money and reduce waste
  • Recycle or compost paper shopping bags in your recycling or organics cart
  • Reuse paper shopping bags for shopping or in kitchen catcher to reduce odours
  • Recycle or compost your takeout containers in your recycling or organics cart
  • Reuse plastic takeout containers at home for leftovers when possible

Why we need to reduce
single-use items

Single-use items are products and packaging that get thrown away after one use. These include takeout containers, disposable cups, utensils, plastic straws, plastic bags, and plastic water bottles. These items are produced in significant amounts. 

    The use of single-use items results in:

    • increased energy and resource consumption;
    • scattered litter in the community;
    • illegal dumping;
    • increased costs to collect from public spaces, and
    • increased landfill waste.

    Additionally, these items are not all recyclable or compostable. They can also end up in waterways, contaminating the water and impacting fish and marine life.

    It is estimated that people dispose of more than 1.1 billion single-use items in Metro Vancouver each year, with an estimated 76 million sent to landfill annually from Surrey. This is equal to 440 items per person. A recent audit of waste in Surrey estimated that each year, we throw away approximately:

    • Plastic Checkout Bags: 26.6 million
    • Disposable Cups: 12.5 million
    • Takeout Containers: 12.4 million
    • Foam Takeout Cups and Containers: 7.3 million

    Corporate Reports


    For more information, contact

    See our Sorting Waste page to learn more about our waste reduction efforts.