Canada plans to ban single-use plastics by the end of 2021

Katie Ramirez
October 10, 2020

"They are harmful to the environment, they are hard or costly to recycle, and there are readily available alternatives", said Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. I would simply say that the ban is a very small part of the plastics industry in Canada and the utilization of plastics in Canada and it is really focused on those specific items that are very hard to recycle.

Canada intends to add plastics to a list of toxic items under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, a designation that comes after a scientific assessment found plastics to be harmful.

"Regulations with respect to this ban will be finalized by the end of 2021".

As it stands now, Canadians recycle less than 10 per cent of the three-million tonnes of plastic the country produces each year.

Canada is banning single-use plastic products - grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, utensils and food containers - by the end of 2021.

The move is interesting in timing, considering the use of plastics during the pandemic instead of re-usable items.
Today, important work is being done in all jurisdictions, including Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, to modernize and advance recycling systems towards a circular economy.

Canada will join dozens of nations that have enacted various bans on single-use plastics.

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Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, has announced the next steps in the Government of Canada's plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.

On Tuesday, the Alberta government announced it would seek to become a hub for Canada's recycling industry.

CIAC is also concerned with the emphasis on banning certain products exclusively because they are widely used in society and are improperly managed at end of use.

The measures could include stipulating new products must contain certain levels of recycled plastics and obliging producers and sellers to do more to collect and recycle plastic.

Masterson said the association is concerned about the message that label would send but added Wilkinson has expressed willingness to consider renaming it.

Both the federal government and the CIAC agree that plastics are harmful for the environment.

France began phasing in a ban in January, starting with plastic plates, cups and cotton buds.

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