• City of Toronto Reducing Single-Use and Takeaway Items Reduction Strategy

City of Toronto Reducing Single-Use and Takeaway Items Reduction Strategy

The City has taken further steps to reduce waste from single-use and takeaway items. On December 15, 2023, City Council adopted the Update and Action Plan on the Single-Use and Takeaway Items Reduction Strategy, including the Circular Food Innovators Fund with amendments, including the adoption of a new bylaw, Municipal Code Chapter – Single-Use and Takeaway Items Bylaw, which takes effect March 1, 2024.

The bylaw includes a requirement for retail businesses to:

  1. Ask their customers or have their customers request (i.e. “ask-first/by-request”) if they want to receive:
    1. accessory food items, such as straws, napkins, stir sticks, utensils, beverage takeout trays and condiment packages
    2. paper shopping bags.
  2. Accept the use of reusable shopping bags and reusable drink cups by their customers
  3. Not distribute paper shopping bags that are incompatible with the City’s waste diversion programs (i.e., paper shopping bags that include metal grommets, plastic handles, non-paper materials)

Customers are encouraged to:

  • plan ahead and take reusable accessory items and clean reusable drink cups and shopping bags with them when shopping
  • say, “No thanks” and only accept items they really need.

The City is also working toward Stage 3 of the Reduction Strategy to look at further measures to be considered for large event venues, and any requirements for retail businesses to accept customers reusable food containers, and to use reusable items for dine-in operations. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to participate in consultation activities and share your feedback.

More information is available at

The City is committed to helping retail businesses comply with the bylaw through targeted education and outreach activities. It would be greatly appreciated if you shared this information with your networks.

If you have any questions, or feedback, please contact or call 416-392-3760.