Single Use Item Reduction Strategy

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Single-use items including takeout container, straw, utensils, and to-go cup


The City of St. Albert is excited to launch its Single Use Item Reduction Strategy and looks forward to hearing from our residents and business owners. Feedback provided, through the survey and ideas board, will help the City shape the Single Use Item Reduction Strategy.

What are Single Use Items?

Items that are designed to be used once and then discarded, such as straws, utensils, and to-go cups, are defined as "single use items." Unfortunately, because they are so small and often made of mixed or low quality material, most single use items cannot be recycled and are destined for the landfill. Throughout Canada, single use items are some of the most commonly found objects littering our streets and parks. While small and relatively light, single use items account for approximately five per cent, by weight, of total plastic waste generated in Canada each year. That's a lot when you consider the weight of a straw compared to plastic car parts or appliances!

What are other Cities Doing?

Cities like Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto are all working towards reducing (or eliminating) single use item waste and St. Albert would like to do the same. Within Edmonton, it's estimated that 450 million single use items are thrown in the garbage each year; which amounts to 1.2 million items every day - more than one item per person per day! Reducing your single use doesn't have to be difficult and can be as simple as bringing your own cutlery from home for lunch at work/school to save 200 forks from ending up in the landfill each year.

Share Your Thoughts!

The City is currently in the beginning stages of our Single Use Item Reduction Strategy. We are interested in gathering information on how residents and business owners currently rely on single use items, which specific single use items are used, and the role the City can play to help us all #ReduceOurSingleUse. The City is looking for input from both residents and business owners until May 8, 2022.


The City of St. Albert is excited to launch its Single Use Item Reduction Strategy and looks forward to hearing from our residents and business owners. Feedback provided, through the survey and ideas board, will help the City shape the Single Use Item Reduction Strategy.

What are Single Use Items?

Items that are designed to be used once and then discarded, such as straws, utensils, and to-go cups, are defined as "single use items." Unfortunately, because they are so small and often made of mixed or low quality material, most single use items cannot be recycled and are destined for the landfill. Throughout Canada, single use items are some of the most commonly found objects littering our streets and parks. While small and relatively light, single use items account for approximately five per cent, by weight, of total plastic waste generated in Canada each year. That's a lot when you consider the weight of a straw compared to plastic car parts or appliances!

What are other Cities Doing?

Cities like Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto are all working towards reducing (or eliminating) single use item waste and St. Albert would like to do the same. Within Edmonton, it's estimated that 450 million single use items are thrown in the garbage each year; which amounts to 1.2 million items every day - more than one item per person per day! Reducing your single use doesn't have to be difficult and can be as simple as bringing your own cutlery from home for lunch at work/school to save 200 forks from ending up in the landfill each year.

Share Your Thoughts!

The City is currently in the beginning stages of our Single Use Item Reduction Strategy. We are interested in gathering information on how residents and business owners currently rely on single use items, which specific single use items are used, and the role the City can play to help us all #ReduceOurSingleUse. The City is looking for input from both residents and business owners until May 8, 2022.

  • Engagement Findings

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    We wish to thank all of our participants for their valuable comments on St Albert’s single use item reduction strategy and their ideas on the role the city, its residents, and its businesses can play to help reduce our single use. The Single Use Item Reduction Strategy page received 225 total visitors, 59 survey participations (56 in the survey for residents, and 3 in the survey for businesses) and 1 ideas contribution.

    This summary information is intended to provide a high-level summary of the overall themes of the input from participants. Readers should not assume that numbers are statistically representative, nor that the opinions reflect the majority viewpoint belonging to the community.

    What we Heard

    The Survey for residents involved questions that asked St. Albert residents about the single use items that they commonly use, barriers and concerns to reducing single use items, and the methods that should be implemented to reduce single use items. The majority of participants agreed that some or all of items (check-out bags, straws, takeout containers, to-go drink cups, and utensils) should be targeted in the reduction strategy. The most common answer was check-out bags. Other responses suggested limiting the amount of plastics used in the packaging of produce in grocery stores. The main barriers that would prevent residents from using re-usable or bring your own (BYO) items is that it is forgetting to bring their reusables, and it is difficult to change their habits. Finally, the reduction methods that the participants were most in support of for the targeted single use items was fee for use and discount for BYO.

    The Survey for business owners was comprised of questions that asked business owners if their business provides single use items, any barriers or concerns for reducing single use items, and how much time they would need to phase out/ reduce their inventory of single use items. Two out of the three business responded that they provide single use items. Their main concerns for reducing single use items in their businesses were costs associated and cleanliness.

    The contributor to the ideas tool suggested the ban of Styrofoam takeout containers and put it into effect within a short time frame (within 6 months). As an alternative, they suggested that business should offer 100% compostable takeout containers.

    What’s Next?

    This summer, during City-led cleanups, we will be tracking the prevalence of single use items as litter. We will use this information, along with the information provided during this to bring forward a plan to Council in late 2022.

Page last updated: 13 May 2022, 10:21 AM