Trudeau announces plans to ban single-use plastics by 2021

Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey

The announcement also revealed that the government would work with the provinces and territories to introduce standards that would make companies responsible for their plastic waste.

In March, the European Parliament agreed that by 2021 the European Union will ban nearly a dozen single-use products including plastic plates, cutlery, cups, straws, plastic sticks in cotton swabs, balloon sticks and stir sticks, and Styrofoam cups and take-out food containers. The ban would include plastic products and packaging such as shopping bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks.

Although it's unclear which types of plastics will be banned, a source told the CBC that the full list will follow the model chosen by the European Union. "I recycle. But I want more choices (of non-plastic products) and the emphasis should be put on the manufacturer", Fracassi said.

A worldwide movement to limit single-use plastics in food packaging poses a challenge for Canada's fossil fuel sector, at the same time that large companies struggle with volatile prices, pipeline constraints and the global rise of electric vehicles.

They said they believed that "creating the impression that safe, sanitary plastic materials" are toxic would ultimately make it more hard to achieve zero waste goals.

The official said the ban would take effect "as early as 2021". "That's a problem, one that we have to do something about", Trudeau said.

The prime minister also said it's "tough trying to explain" to his children why "dead whales [are] washing up on beaches around the world, their stomachs jam-packed with plastic bags", Reuters reported.

The European Parliament has said that plastics production is 20 times higher now than it was during the 1960s.


Less than 10% of plastics are now recycled in Canada.

-Over the last 25 years, almost 800,000 volunteers have removed over 1.3 million kilograms of trash from across Canada's shorelines through Ocean Wise and World Wildlife Fund's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program, supported by the Government of Canada.

He tweeted that Canadians throw away 15 billion plastic bags a year and 57 million straws every day.

"We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment and create jobs and grow our economy".

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Union signed on to the Ocean Plastics charter at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., last June, agreeing to find ways to deal with marine plastics litter.

But Trudeau said a "national solution" was needed.

Globally, a truckload of plastic waste enters the ocean every minute, the statement said.

The move is part of wider efforts by the Liberal government to improve Canada's dismal recycling rates and reduce pollution, just five months shy of a federal election in which the environment and climate change promise to be major issues. "That's the fate of our kids if we do not act", he said.

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