Canada is planning to phase out single-use plastics by 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that his government is taking inspiration from the E.U. and hoping to ban single-use plastics bags, straws, and cutlery, in Canada as early as 2021.
Exactly what the ban will include is still TBD, because according to Trudeau, the Canadian government is using “a science-based approach” to establishing which “harmful single-use plastics” will be eliminated, per CBC News. However, a government source told the Canadian news outlet that items like plastic cotton swabs, drink stirrers, plates, and balloon sticks are on the chopping block, as well as styrofoam or polystyrene fast-food containers and cups.
As the BBC reports, about 3 million tons of plastic waste are thrown away each year in Canada and currently less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and Trudeau unveiled a plan to increase that rate by requiring companies that make plastic products or sell them to clean up after themselves and take responsibility for recycling the plastic they pump into the planet. “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,” Trudeau said, according to the CBC.
Critics in Canada’s Conservative party told the CBC that Trudeau’s plastic ban is not a plan, lacks any details, and is merely Trudeau “grasping at straws.” Hopefully, they are reusable straws, as the world needs every bit of help it can get to fight plastic pollution. So far 127 countries have signed on to help curb single-use plastics and, hopefully, Canada will be number 128.