Canada To Ban Single-Use Plastics By 2021

Posted On: 6/12/2019

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OTTAWA, Canada – Canada will ban certain single-use plastics by 2021, including plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks. The ban, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, comes on the heels of countries, states and cities worldwide enacting legislation to scale down or eliminate the use of single-use plastic products – with a particular focus on plastic bags.

In March, New York announced plans for a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags for retail sales, following the lead of similar legislation passed in California and Hawaii.

Canada’s government will also take further steps reduce pollution from plastic products and packaging and work with provinces and territories to introduce standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging so they become responsible for their plastic waste.

These measures will be grounded in scientific evidence and will align, where appropriate, with similar actions being taken in the European Union and other countries. They will also support the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s development of an action plan to implement the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.

“Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets and shorelines littered with plastic waste,” Trudeau stated. “We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come.”

About one-third of the plastics used in Canada are for single-use or short-lived products and packaging. In fact, in Canada, up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year and close to 57 million straws are used daily. Less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. Without a change in course, according to Trudeau, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.