As learned from a Government Source, the Trudeau government is all set to ban single-use plastics like drink stirrers, plastic cutlery, plastic straws, cotton swabs, plastic plates, and some plastic bags as early as 2021. Cups made of expanded polystyrene and single-use fast food containers will also be banned.
The full list of plastics to be banned will be made in accordance with the model chosen by the European Union. The EU model banned 10 single-use plastic items to curb ocean pollution which also includes products made of oxy-degradable plastics (plastics with additives that don’t completely biodegrade and leave micro-plastics behind) such as bags.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canada-led Ocean Plastics Charter at the 44th G7 summit held in June last year, in Charlevoix, Quebec. Among the countries that immediately signed on, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, the U.k and the European Union agreed to find ways to deal with plastic litter in water-bodies.
It was found that only 9% of plastic waste was recycled in Canada with about 87% ending up in the landfills, according to a 2016 report by consulting firms ChemInfo Services and Deloitte. These findings were commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Littering of single-use plastic bags is a global problem. Canadians throw away more than 34 million plastic bags every day that ends up in our landfills and seas and oceans. News of whales washing ashore dead with pounds of plastic in their stomach is not a new thing. Every day we hear news about our marine ecosystem and wildlife being harmed by deadly plastic waste. Plastic also enters our body through micro-plastics found in our food.
According to the survey done between 2012-2017 by consulting giants, Deloitte and ChemInfo Services, the plastic manufacturing industries in Canada alone made about $35 billion in sales. Employing 93,000 people mostly in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, the plastic industry is one of the fastest growing sectors.
The $350 million plastic waste generated is left at the mercy of less than a dozen recycling companies.
The new plastic ban will generate jobs and reduce greenhouse gases, according to the Environment and Climate Change Canada.