Recycling

Canada is Moving to Ban Dozens of ‘Harmful’ Single-Use Plastics as Soon as 2021

As a means of combatting plastic pollution, Canada is moving to ban dozens of single-use plastics as soon as 2021.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in a speech that he and his government are planning on phasing out several forms of common plastic waste, such as water bottles, single-use bags, coffee cup lids, and straws.

Canadian legislators are reportedly drawing inspiration from the European Union’s recent ban on plastics, which was approved in a landslide vote back in October.

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The directive, which was passed 571 votes to 53, prohibits the use of many of the most commonly found forms of plastic pollution, such as cotton swabs, plastic plates and cutlery, straws, and drink stirrers.

The items were selected for the ban because they can easily be replaced by biodegradable or environmentally-friendly materials. Materials that cannot be so easily replaced by the manufacturers, such as cigarette filters and plastic bottles, have still been given aggressive deadlines for curbing their plastic usage

According to a press release from Trudeau’s office, less than 10% 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.

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

Though the ban is still in its early stages of planning, Trudeau said that he and his fellow lawmakers would work with packaging manufacturers and companies in order to ensure a smooth transition towards more sustainable practices.

(WATCH Trudeau’s speech below)

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