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Canada Announces a Plan to Reduce Single-Use Plastics and Fight Pollution

On June 20, Canada declared its intention to join other countries in implementing plastic reduction measures. The country's ban on single-use plastics will not take effect until December 2022 to give companies like restaurants and grocery stores enough time to adjust and restructure their stocks. If everything goes according to plan, the following years will see expansion: a manufacturing and import ban in December 2023, product sales in December 2024, and exports at the end of 2025. In that order, Canada may assist in both domestic plastic issues and international pollution prevention.

The elimination of single-use plastics in Canada is a significant step in the fight against pollution and climate change. Since plastics are produced of petroleum and can take hundreds of years to degrade, there is an emphasis on their use. In addition, some types that are unable to degrade may fragment into tiny pieces, which can subsequently gather dangerous contaminants and chemicals. 

As a result, marine organisms such as zooplankton, coral, fish, sea turtles, seals, whales, and seabirds suffer from entanglement or ingestion of plastics.

Even as humans, we are not fully immune to the effects of our behavior. "Some of these tainted microplastics travel their way up the food chain and into our food supply when consumed by fish," claims Oceana. Humans are thought to consume about one credit card's worth of plastic each week. Whatever plastic you disposed of a week, a month, or even a year ago might eventually make its way back to you in an unhealthy way. This is why nations like Canada want to take steps to break the pattern.

Although it is apparent that only 9% of plastic garbage is recycled, it is logical that some polymers are simple to recycle. A more efficient approach—reducing the source—is required as the world's plastic output rises.

Checkout bags, cutlery, difficult-to-recycle food containers, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws are among the single-use plastics that Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault has highlighted as needing to be prohibited. A few exceptions will be made for medical requirements.

Despite being relatively new, the national ban mostly promotes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 2019 promise to phase out single-use plastics. He tweeted, "We vowed to eliminate hazardous single-use plastics, and we're upholding that commitment," expressing his support for Canada's efforts to combat climate change. Later, he added, "This prohibition is expected to eliminate about 1.3 million tons of plastic waste and over 22,000 tons of plastic pollution for the next ten years. That's the same amount of litter as one million garbage bags.

Due to concerns regarding the availability of substitute items, these activities may present some challenges, but the goal is still achievable. In reality, the zero-waste movement is already having an impact on the rest of the globe and the nation. Some or all of the products on the prohibition list 

have already been outlawed in Canadian towns and provinces. Several nations, including France, Spain, the UK, and India, have already outlawed some types of single-use plastics. Many nations, including Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines, have set an excellent example for standardizing refill and reuse systems when it comes to alternative products.

Although some opposition is likely, a global survey found that 75% of consumers backed limits on single-use plastic, according to a study by My Modern Met. With Canada joining the group of countries battling the plastic problem, hopefully, more will do the same.


Edited by: Dawlat Al hennawy

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