The federal government is moving to reduce plastic pollution
The federal government will be banning single-use plastic as soon as 2021, saying pollution across the nation requires immediate action.
The ban will cover plastic bags, straws, and cutlery, as well as disposable plates and stir sticks. The exact list of products should be announced in the near future.
“Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement announcing the ban.
“We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come.”
The government also says it will be taking measures to reduce the amount of plastic found in commercial packaging by placing limits on manufacturers.
“We’ve all seen the disturbing images of fish, sea turtles, whales, and other wildlife being injured or dying because of plastic garbage in our oceans. Canadians expect us to act,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change.
The government hopes the ban will lead to a 1.8 million-tonne reduction in waste.
The government estimates that only 10% of all plastic in Canada is recycled. By 2030, Canadians could throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic that could have been recycled and re-sold instead.
The federal government is also promising the creation of 42,000 new jobs, though the statement failed to mention where these jobs would be created.