Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has announced that his government will ban single-use plastics by as early as 2021. Although the government has yet to decide exactly which products will be banned, it will likely include items such as plastic carrier bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stirrers. The country will also introduce standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging to make them responsible for their plastics waste. Trudeau said the country will follow the model in Europe, where the European Council formally adopted a ban on single-use plastics in May 2019 see Plasteurope.com of 23.05.2019
Less than 10% of plastics used in Canada gets recycled and the government said that without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated USD 11 bn (EUR 9.7 bn) worth of plastic products 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, Trudeau said. 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.
Trudeaus announcement comes as his government has less than five months in office before a national election in October 2019. Canada recently hit international headlines after a company illegally shipped containers of rotting waste to the Philippines, having falsely declared the contents as recyclable plastics. The Philippines returned the containers to Canada in May 2019.