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Canada to Ban Single-Use Plastic

Canada is the latest country to join the fight against single-use plastics. The Government of Canada has indicated that it will ban the manufacturing, importation, and exportation of harmful single-use plastics as of December 2023. Single-use plastics including the following will be banned in Canada in the near future.


• checkout bags


• cutlery


• foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics that are hard to recycle


• ring carriers


• stir sticks


• straws (with some exceptions)


 


The Government of Canada states that this ban aims to help keep single-use plastics out of the environment as well as to reduce single-use plastic litter in the country. Photograph: Ya Libnan


What effect will this ban have on single-use plastic consumption?


This move to ban single-use plastic is estimated to eliminate over 1.3 million tons of plastic waste as well as eliminating approximately 22,000 tons of plastic pollution. Moreover, this moves to ban single-use plastic puts Canada on the right track to meet the commitments of the Ocean Plastics Charter and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


According to the Government of Canada, in Canada, up to 15 billion plastic checkout bags annually and approximately 16 million straws are used every single day. It has also been found that single-use plastics make up the majority of the litter found on the coastlines of the country.


“We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics. Today, that’s exactly what we’ve done. By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics. After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or reusable bags. With these new regulations, we’re taking a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution, and keeping our communities and the places we love clean” said the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.


According to The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, the Government of Canada is “focused on protecting the health of those who live in Canada, while improving our environment.”


A report entitled ‘Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution’ informed Canada’s policy development, according to the Government of Canada.


Characteristics of the ban on single-use plastics


• The sale of single-use flexible plastic straws will be banned as of December 2023. (Exceptions will be made for persons who require them for medical or accessibility reasons).


• The manufacturing and importation of ring carriers and single-use flexible plastic straws will be banned from June 2023


• The prohibition of the sale of ring carriers and single-use flexible plastic straws will take effect from June 2024


Read more on the regulations published by the Government of Canada here.


 


This ban on single-use plastics will have several benefits for Canada including the move towards a more circular economy for plastic within the country, thereby reducing carbon emissions, generating revenue, and creating approximately 42,000 jobs by 2030.


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