Canada will prohibit single-use plastics as early as 2021, PM says

Lester Mason
June 13, 2019

Requiring more recycled content in bottles or other plastic products would create a larger market for recycled plastic material that would in turn, spur economic activity in the sector and an explosion in the number of sorting and recycling plants.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the country will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, following similar actions by California, Hawaii and NY.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that Canada would bring in a series of measures to ban single use plastic items in Canada as soon as 2021.

Single-use items represent about 70 per cent of the plastic waste littering the marine environment.

The products targeted could include such single-use items as drinking straws, water bottles, plastic bags, cutlery, stir sticks and fast food containers. Almost 3 million tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away each year just from Canada, with more than 34 million plastic bags being thrown away every day.

Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said there is a huge concern among residents, both local and across the country, concerning plastic waste and its impacts. A high-profile campaign against plastic straws previous year drove numerous multi-national food and beverage companies - including A&W and Starbucks - to replace plastic straws with paper versions, and many restaurants just stopped automatically putting straws in drinks as a first step. So not only is excessive single-use plastic obviously harmful to the environment, but it's also costing Canadians money. A national EPR policy could also result in producers covering the cost to collect and process St. Albert's blue bag recycling through a group like the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance. The proposal is in part a reaction to the lacklustre level of recycling that Canadians are doing of plastics, as some reports peg recycling of plastics at around 11 per cent -meaning the remainder is in the landfill where it doesn't break down, or in our ditches, lakes and rivers.

"The $6.54 that sits on your utility bill (for recycling) for the City of St. Albert will disappear", Heron said.

"Let's see what actually happens through this federal initiative", he said.

The question of plastic bags should also be addressed, and this time, it is expected, in a more rational way than just banning thin bags and leaving the thick ones still circulating, as some municipalities, including our own, have done. It didn't say which products would be affected, for example, when the bans would kick in or what would happen if the Liberals lost the election this fall. Other items will be added once the government completes a science-based review.

"The science is there and it's very clear", she said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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