The government of Canada has put together a plan in order to ban single-use plastics to protect both biodiversity and wildlife from its harmful effects. It is estimated that the ban will help to eliminate over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution. This is the equivalent of over a million garbage bags being filled with rubbish. Some of the items included in the ban are as follows:
- Plastic cutlery
- Checkout bags
- Stir sticks
- Ring carriers
In addition, sales of single-use flexible plastic straws will be restricted by December 2023, only allowing them in very specific circumstances.
“We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics. Today, that’s exactly what we’ve done. By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics. After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or reusable bags.” Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
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The ban is set to be introduced by the end of the year in December, which will give businesses the time to find solutions and aid them through the plastic ban transition. The Canadian government is also planning to prohibit the export of plastics by the end of 2025.
It is hoped that this move will help the country to meet the commitments of the Ocean Plastics Charter and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Other countries have also planned bans on specific single-use plastics, such as the UK and India.