Canadian government moves ahead on single-use plastics ban
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Feds are also considering banning the chasing arrows symbol from all plastic items unless they're accepted in at least 80 percent of Canada's recycling facilities.
The Canadian government has published final regulations to prohibit single-use plastics including checkout bags; cutlery; foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics that are considered hard to recycle; ring carriers; stir sticks; and straws (with some exceptions).
“The ban on the manufacture and import of these harmful single-use plastics, barring a few targeted exceptions to recognize specific cases, will come into effect in December 2022,” the Environment and Climate Change department of the federal government said in a June 20 news release. “To provide businesses in Canada with enough time to transition and to deplete their existing stocks, the sale of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023.”
Sales of single-use flexible plastic straws will be restricted as of December 2023, the news release said. “Exceptions to the ban on straws allow single-use plastic flexible straws to remain available for people in Canada who require them for medical or accessibility reasons,” it said. “This includes for use at home, in social settings, or in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and long‑term care facilities. All other types of single-use plastic straws will be prohibited.” Prohibitions on the manufacture and import of ring carriers and flexible straws packaged with beverage containers – for example, juice boxes – will come into force in June 2023, meanwhile, and the prohibition on the sale of these items will come into force in June 2024. “These transition timelines recognize the complexity associated with retooling manufacturing lines for these products,” the release said.
The government also said it will prohibit the export of plastics in the six categories by the end of 2025, making Canada the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally.
The news release also said that the government is also considering banning the chasing arrows symbol from all plastic items unless they’re accepted in at least 80 per cent of Canada’s recycling facilities. The news release said that, beginning in the early summer, the government will begin to consult on approaches to a federal public plastic registry and the development of labelling rules that would prevent the use of the chasing arrows symbol on plastic items unless at least 80 percent of recycling facilities in Canada accept them and they have reliable end markets. It said the consultation would also include labelling rules for composting of plastic products.