Canadians throw away 3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. 15 billion plastic bags a year. 57 million straws a day. They end up in our oceans, beaches, parks and streets. And this has to stop. We owe it to our planet, and to our kids.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will ban single-use plastics, which could include bags, straws and cutlery, in Canada in 2021 at the earliest.
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will research the question of which items it should ban and follow the model chosen by the European Union, which voted in March to ban plastic items for which market alternatives exist — such as single-use plastic cutlery and plates — and items made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags. (Oxo-degradable plastics aren't really biodegradable; they contain additives that cause the plastic to fragment without breaking down chemically.)
He also revealed plans to make companies that manufacture or sell plastic products to take responsibility for recycling their plastic waste.
“Whether we're talking about plastic bottles or cellphones, it will be up to businesses to take responsibility for the plastics they're manufacturing and putting out into the world,” said Trudeau.
A full list of banned items isn't set in stone, but a government source told CBC News that the list also could include items like cotton swabs, drink stirrers, plates and balloon sticks. Fast-food containers and cups made of expanded polystyrene, which is similar to white Styrofoam, will also be banned, said the source.