City of Guelph asks businesses to support waste reduction strategy

In 2022, Guelph Council approved a single-use items bylaw that banned plastic shopping bags and polystyrene foam containers and cups. At that time, Council also asked us to collect feedback from the community about paying fees for disposable cups and reusable bags. We appreciated the community feedback and having heard that some community members supported paying fees, we’re focusing on changes businesses and customers can make to reduce the amount of single-use item waste they generate.  

We’re asking local food-service businesses to provide feedback on how they can support our waste reduction strategy. Specifically, how easy, or difficult it would be for businesses to: 

  • accept a customer’s clean reusable cup and container, 
  • offer in-restaurant dishware for dine-in drinks and food, 
  • offer foodware accessories (e.g., cutlery, stir sticks, condiments) by request or at self-serve stations only, and  
  • use recycled content in paper and reusable bags.  

Have your say 

Businesses are invited to share their thoughts and feedback online at 

Survey timeline: February 5 – 29  

In February, City staff will visit some local businesses to talk about the survey and collect feedback in person. 

About the waste reduction strategy 

We know our community wants actual waste reduction and elimination, not just substitution, and they want to balance accessibility with environmental outcomes. The focus of the single-use items reduction strategy is to reduce waste in general, reduce waste sent to the landfill, and encourage businesses, consumers and residents take more environmentally conscious actions. 

You can learn more about the City’s single-use items reduction strategy at  

For more information 

Nicole Davison, Waste Resource Policy Analyst, 
Environmental Services
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services
519-822-1260 extension 2451
[email protected]