Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021
June 10, 2019
Canada will ban "harmful" single-use plastics as early as 2021 in a bid to reduce ocean waste, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced.
This initiative is modelled on similar legislation passed last year by the European Union and other nations.
Canada will also establish "targets" for companies that manufacture or sell plastics to be responsible for their plastic waste.
Currently less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled.
Mr Trudeau called the issue of plastic pollution a "global challenge".
In May, the United Nations said 180 countries reached a deal to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the world's oceans, where it can harm fish, sea turtles, whales and other wildlife.
Marine animals can become entangled in larger plastics - particularly cord, nets and ropes from fishing.
While European and North American countries tend to produce a lot of plastic waste per capita, their management of that waste limits the impact of that product on the ocean compared to other regions, according to research out of the UK.
The Canadian government has yet to decide which single-use plastic products will be included on the list but it could target plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks.
About 3m tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away each year in the country.
"As parents we're at a point when we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn't littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles," Mr Trudeau said.
"That's a problem, one that we have to do something about."
In October 2018, the EU voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans.
The EU hopes it will go into effect across the bloc by 2021...
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