Trudeau Government Planning to Ban Single-Use Plastics by 2021


Published June 10, 2019 at 4:49 pm


In the ongoing fight to keep the planet clean and habitable, plastic pollution is a serious problem, and the federal government has recently laid out plans on how it will reduce Canada’s plastic waste.

On Monday, June 10, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government will ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021 — including items such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks — where warranted and supported by scientific evidence.

The government also plans to hold companies responsible for plastic waste, and will work with provinces and territories to introduce new standards for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging.

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

“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.”

According to the government statement, Canadians throw away over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, of which less than 10 percent is recycled — a lost value of up to $8 billion per year.

Without a change in course, the government predicts Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.

“The health of our oceans is vital to the economic, cultural, and social well-being of Canada’s coastal communities. We know plastic pollution harms Canada’s oceans, wildlife, communities—and our economy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“It’s a problem we simply can’t afford to ignore.”

By managing plastic waste the government also hopes to reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create approximately 42,000 jobs.

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