In the back room of Granville Island’s award-winning Liberty distillery, two boxes of now-banned plastic packaging take up shelf space.

The 2,400 biodegradable bags are just a small fraction of the 20,000 units Lisa Simpson purchased in January 2018 – 22 months before the City of Vancouver’s one-time use ordinance was passed.

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“We thought we were doing the right thing,” Simpson told Global News.

Plastic bags have now been banned and the city said there is no grace period for the use of existing stock as it would be unfair to businesses that could have their stock taken down in time.

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Questions raised about Vancouver’s one-time plastic program – January 5, 2022

Biodegradable substances are also not accepted in Vancouver’s organic organic program for green containers, and Simpson said she does not know what to do with her remaining 16,800 bags – the majority of which are in her supplier’s warehouse.

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“It’s incredibly frustrating,” Simpson said.

“Knowing that instead of diminishing a stock balance that a consumer is still using, we’re just going to mass dump, I do not know where – an abyss?”

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Independent City Council. Sarah Kirby-Yung said she feels for small business owners like Simpson, and suggested that the best option might be to give leftover bags to charities or non-profits who will accept them and make them available to low-income residents for other uses such as garbage. bin liners.

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“It makes no sense to throw away stock,” Kirby-Yung said.

“Because the intention of the ordinance is natural to reduce waste. Once something has already been manufactured, it makes a lot of sense to just use it up. ”

Simpson said she was facing a $ 3,000 loss on the cost of the bags, at a time when she was throwing everything into her small business during two years of COVID-19, fewer customers and tourists, rates and transportation issues.

“Our costs are rising by no less than 20 percent every day,” she said.

Simpson ordered a one-time set of tools from the city to find out more about her options, and said she was surprised by the volume of paper that arrived in the mail the next day.

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A one-inch-thick package with many duplicates in the same language said that extra plastic shopping bags should be donated to charity as Kirby-Yung suggested, or sold to businesses outside Vancouver.

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City of Vancouver to revisit one-time fee

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“I do not understand why it makes sense to sell to another municipality when we are talking about the environment,” Simpson said.

You have to go back to common sense and reasonableness, ”Kirby-Yung said.

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“It just does not make sense to sell her bags to another municipality when they have her brand on them.”

Global News offered the city of Vancouver an opportunity to have a spokesman answer questions on camera – but it was reported that the senior project manager of his zero waste senior project manager “is under a major capacity crisis this week” and not can not conduct an interview.

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The city would set no one else up.

Meanwhile, Simpson has purchased the permitted 40 percent recycled content paper bags that businesses must sell to customers at a minimum fee of $ 0.15 per bag.

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Because paper takes up more space, she can only order 250 bags at a time and she cannot get the same volume discount on plastic, at $ 0.17 per unit.

Simpson said she pays $ 0.48 per unit for paper bags and charges her customers $ 0.25 for each bag.

“I lose money on every pocket,” she told Global News.

Fortunately, most distillery customers bring reusable bags with them when they buy liquor, she said.

For now, Simpson puts her trust in compliance while navigating the extra baggage around the one-time use ordinance.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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