Single Use Waste Reduction Initiative

The Town of Devon wants to work with you to do our part and reduce the amount of single-use items that end up in the landfill each year. 

Our initial focus is to eliminate the distribution of plastic retail bags in Devon by January of 2020. This is the first step towards a larger goal of eliminating additonal single-use waste in our community.

Reducing single-use plastics in Devon will have impacts on both businesses and residents, which is why we need your help!

Devon Leading the Way!

Municipalities across Alberta are joining others across Canada and the globe to reduce the amount of single-use items in their waste and recycling streams. Devon is at the forefront of this initiative in Alberta and plans to continue to be a leader in environmental stewardship.

Waste Facts

  • Between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used globally with each bag taking 1,000 years to decompose

  • 89% of historical exports consist of polymer groups often used in single-use plastic food packaging

  • With China having implemented rigid waste import policies, an estimated 111 million metric tons of plastic waste will be displaced by 2030


Yes. Devon is working on a Bylaw that will prohibit the distribution of plastic bags by businesses.

A bag that is made of:

  • less than 2.25 mils (.571 millimeter) thick polyethylene; and/or
  • pulp or paper,

And, for clarity, shall include, but is not limited to:

  • a door hanger bag designed to hold flyers, coupons or other advertisements and intended to be left on the doors of homes;
  • a decorative paper or plastic gift bag where such bag is being used to transport goods;
  • a biodegradable bag composed of, in whole or part, biodegradable plastic, oxo-biodegradable plastic, plastarch, polylactide, or any other plastic resin composite that is intended to degrade at a faster rate than non-biodegradable plastic film.

(a) Single-use bags containing food from a Retail Establishment that is a:

  • Food Service, Drive-in or Drive-through;
  • Food Service, Major Restaurant;
  • Food Service, Minor Restaurant;
  • Food Service, Mobile Catering; or a
  • Food Service, Take out Restaurant.

(b) Single-use bags distributed by a non-profit in its normal course of business, which includes but is not limited to, a food bank, a homeless shelter or an animal shelter; and

(c) Single-use bags containing:

  • loose, bulk goods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items such as nails, screws, nuts and bolts, which goods are not prepackaged;
  • fresh meats or fish, which goods may be prepackaged;
  • fresh cut flowers, or potted plants;
  • freshly prepared foods or bakery goods;
  • clothing immediately following the professional laundering or dry-cleaning of same;
  • medical prescriptions and over the counter medications;
  • paraphernalia related to the use of illegal drugs;
  • undergarments or similar products of a personal or adult nature;
  • any product or good where the purchaser must be an adult, except those related to a lottery or the sale of tobacco; and
  • dirty, greasy, or hazardous products or materials;

(d) the sale of multiple, prepackaged single-use bags.

Yes there will be in amounts to be determinded by the Bylaw.

These are items that are used once and then thrown away. Common single-use items include plastic retail bags, polystyrene (Styrofoam) serving trays and bowls, plastic straws, plastic utensils, coffee stir sticks and stoppers, and polystyrene, plastic or paper cups.

There are 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags used annually around the globe. While single-use items are convenient, they have a great negative impact on our environment. These items end up as litter or in landfills and can take thousands of years to break down. It is estimated there are over 1.3 million plastic retail bags used in Devon annually.

In addition, North America relies on foreign markets to recycle our materials. With recent changes, places like China will reject shipments of recyclables that are contaminated with many of these single-use items. We need to manage the issues domestically.

Yes. In-fact, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo adopted a “Single-Use Shopping Bag Bylaw” in September of 2010. Other Alberta municipalities with active bylaws or that are discussing similar bylaws/strategies include:

  • Banff
  • Calgary
  • Edmonton
  • Okotoks
  • Spruce Grove
  • St. Albert
  • Wetaskiwin

The Single Use Waste Reduction Task Force is a task-oriented working group appointed by Council that will be responsible for engaging the Devon community to gain input and provide recommendations to Council at specified milestones or when a decision is necessary involving single use waste reduction.

The Task Force is being formed in response to Devon's initiative to reduce waste in our community, particularly single-use items such as plastics and Styrofoam. Members will be selected through an application process based on Boards of Council application processes.

Applications closed Aug. 1

Applications will be accepted until Aug. 1 before being be reviewed by Town of Devon Administration. Recommendations will then be provided to Council for appointment in August.

The Waste Reduction Task Force will consist of five (5) members of the community, one member of Council and the Town's Environment and Sustainability Coordinator.


Have a question about the Task Force or looking for more information about what Devon is doing to be a more sustainable community? Email our Environment and Sustainability Coordinator at

  • Waste Reduction Task Force Application Form

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