Canada to ban single-use plastics in 2021

Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Friday, June 7, 2019. (Philippe Wojazer/Pool via AP)

Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau said the specific items to be banned will be determined based on a science-based review, but the government is considering items such as water bottles, plastic bags and straws.

“As early as 2021, Canada will ban harmful single-use plastics from coast to coast,” Trudeau said.

READ MORE: Liberals to announce plan to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

Trudeau said his government is drawing inspiration from the European Union’s Parliament, which voted overwhelmingly in March to impose a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics to counter pollution from discarded items that end up in waterways and fields. Legislatures of the EU member states must vote on the measure before it takes effect.

“Many other countries are doing that and Canada will be one of them,” Trudeau said. “This is a big step but we know can do this for 2021.”

Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. The government said that 1 million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die each year when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled.

The EU’s measure would affect a range of plastic products for which reasonable alternatives exist, from straws to earbuds, starting in 2021.

Disposable utensils would not be completely off-limits, but the EU measure calls for them to be made of sustainable materials when possible. The EU legislation also sets a goal of having 90 per cent of plastic bottles recycled by 2025 and of halving the litter from the 10 items that turn up in oceans most often.

The EU estimated the changes will cost the bloc’s economy 259 million to 695 million euros a year ($291 million to $781 million). It’s not clear what the cost would be for Canada.

China’s decision to no longer import some of the EU’s waste helped spur the plastics ban.

China banned the import of plastic waste last year, causing other Southeast Asian nations to become new destinations. The Philippines, complaining of being treated like a dumpsite by wealthier nations, shipped 69 containers of what its officials called illegally transported garbage back to Canada in May.

ALSO READ: Canadian shoppers want green packaging, but reluctant to pay more: study

ALSO READ: Tofino and Ucluelet officially ban plastic bags and straws

Rob Gillies, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford prison has confirmed COVID-19 case

Pacific Regional Treatment Centre is the third prison in B.C. in a week to confirm case

UPDATED: Mission Institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

14 inmates test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Abbotsford taxi company steps up during COVID-19 pandemic

Central Valley Taxi adds plexiglass, cleaning protocols to perform essential service

Salvation Army’s emergency-disaster-service trucks helping cook meals for Abbotsford’s vulnerable

Trucks helping charity provide take-away meals as facilities limit access due to COVID-19

Inmate death reported at prison near Abbotsford

Police, coroner notified of inmate death at Pacific Institution

Human rights complaint over city’s Pride flag tossed out

Kari Simpson’s attempt to block Langley City’s flag raising has failed

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Canadian Olympian diagnosed with heart failure, possible exposure to COVID-19

Olympic soccer star Karina LeBlanc diagnosed with pleural effusion

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

VIDEO: Fraser Valley singing ensemble overcomes isolation, creates music using digital technology

Members of Belle Voci record ‘a capella’ song together even though they were unable to meet in person

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Statistics Canada report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

Most Read