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Canada to ban single-use plastics by as early as 2021

A list of the banned items has not yet been announced.


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June 10, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 10.

Trudeau made the announcement during a stop at the Gault Nature Reserve in Mont St-Hilaire, Que.

The details of how such a ban would be implemented remain unknown, but the government says it will conduct a science-based review to determine the best course of action.

The products could include such single-use items as drinking straws, water bottles, plastic bags, cutlery, stir sticks, and fast food containers. According to a CBC news report, the list could also include items like cotton swabs, drink stirrers, plates, and balloon sticks. Fast-food containers and cups made of expanded polystyrene will also be banned, a source close to the issue told CBC.

“Canadians are tired of seeing our beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste,” Trudeau wrote on his Twitter account after the announcement.

The ban comes one year after Canada joined France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the European Union in pledging that by 2040 all plastic produced in their countries would be reused, recycled or burned to produce energy. The countries signed on to the Ocean Plastics charter at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., in June 2018.

News of the government’s single-use plastic ban drew a quick response from two important Canadian plastics advocacy groups, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). “[We] fully endorse the objective of stopping waste, including plastic waste, from leaking into the environment…[and] welcome the plans for producer-led extended producer responsibility initiatives which will lead to more harmonized collection and help build markets for recycled plastics,” the two groups said in a June 10 statement. “We would only caution government not to pre-determine the outcome and consider impacts throughout the lifecycle of plastic products and their alternatives. Any rush to judgment could have serious implications on industry’s ability to create a circular economy for plastics that supports a national zero plastic waste strategy.”

The two groups also said that they “look forward to working with the federal government to support their science-based approach.”