Wednesday, 19 June, 2019


Canada plans to announce ban on single-use plastics

Single-use plastic is a serious threat to marine life. Image Twitter/@yoongijung Plastic straws and bags no more: Canada aims to clean up its act
Kristine Garrett | 11 June, 2019, 04:24

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will ban single-use plastics in Canada as early as 2021, and they could include throwaway bags, straws and cutlery.

In making its announcement on Monday, the Canadian government acknowledged the country's unique worldwide role in curbing production of single-use plastics: "With the longest coastline in the world and one-quarter of the world's freshwater, Canada has a unique responsibility - and opportunity - to lead in reducing plastic pollution", the government said in its announcement.

Canada is set to ban single-use plastics from 2021. "And to be honest as a dad it is tough trying to explain to my kids", Trudeau said.

The federal government is also planning to require companies that produce plastics or use them in packaging to be responsible for the collection and recycling of the waste.

Mr Trudeau acknowledged those efforts and said "a real solution needs to be nation-wide".

Trudeau's government launched a new Ocean Plastics Charter during the G7 summit in Quebec back in 2018.

Malaysia similarly said it would return 3,000 tons of plastic waste from Canada, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The decision by Canada comes after European Union lawmakers voted earlier this year to also ban single-use plastics by 2021.

In Australia, Hobart has become the first capital city set to ban single-use plastics, including takeaway food containers and straws.

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.

Several Canadian cities already ban the use of plastic bags, Montreal passed its ban previous year, and some provinces have banned other products.

"Our fundamental belief is that globally, plastics will continue to grow and that we'll need multiple plants to be built year over year to enable that growth", he said in an interview.

"Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are exhausted of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste", Trudeau said.

And while Trudeau has declared it a top priority, a recent parliamentary report concluded Canada is doing too little to combat climate change, even as government scientists warned the country was warming at twice the global rate.

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