Canada Will Finally Ban Single-Use Plastics by 2021

Slowly but surely, Canada is getting greener.

The country kicked off 2018 by banning microbeads. Now, the federal governments wants to take things a step further by outlawing harmful single-use plastics by 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the plan on Monday, though he did not specify which products he considers harmful enough to make illegal. Popular candidates include plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks. The blacklist will be compiled based on “scientific evidence.”

About one-third of the plastics used in Canada are for single-use or short-lived products and packaging.

“How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches across the world, their stomachs jam packed with plastic bags?” he pondered rhetorically.  “How do I tell [my kids] that against all odds, you will find plastic at the very deepest point in the Pacific Ocean?” Perhaps it has something to do with shipping heaps of trash to the other side of the world. Anyway.

According to a statement published by the Prime Minister, less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. Without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030. If that isn’t ominous enough, Canadians throw away over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year.

Earlier this year, the European Parliament voted to enact a similar measure within the same timeframe.