Plastics are seen being gathered for recycling at a depot in North Vancouver on June, 10, 2019. Environment Canada is releasing scientific evidence today to back up the government’s bid to ban most single-use plastics next year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June the government was getting ready to prohibit the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as drinking straws, takeout containers and plastic cutlery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Environment Canada to release science review backing need for plastics ban

In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the trash

Environment Canada is releasing scientific evidence today to back up the government’s bid to ban most single-use plastics next year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June the government was getting ready to prohibit the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as drinking straws, takeout containers and plastic cutlery.

The first step in the process requires a scientific assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Today, Environment Canada officials will release the results of that work.

A recent audit of Canada’s plastic production and recycling industries done for the department found less than 10 per cent of the plastic products used in Canada are recycled.

In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the trash — 12 times the amount of plastic that was recycled.

A small amount of plastics is burned for energy at five Canadian waste-to-energy plants.

Almost 90 per cent of the plastic recycled in Canada is from packaging.

Canada’s domestic recycling industry is quite small, with fewer than a dozen companies. Most of Canada’s plastics destined for recycling end up overseas, where tracking what happens to them is difficult. Many end up being burned or thrown into trash piles somewhere else.

The audit found it is usually cheaper and easier to produce new plastic and throw it away than it is to recycle, reuse or repair it.

In 2018, when Canada hosted the G7 leaders’ summit, Canada and four other leading economies signed a charter pledging that by 2040 all plastic produced in their countries would be reused, recycled or burned to produce energy. The United States and Japan stayed out.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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

Just Posted

Free Abbotsford tax-prep program to start accepting appointments

People with low incomes can start booking Feb. 18 for slots in March and April

City contemplates new parking rules for daycares

Location of expanded daycare sparks safety concerns for Barkman, but others say spaces much needed

Abbotsford firefighters will Climb the Wall for BC Lung Association

Crews will walk 48 storeys of Wall Centre while wearing their gear

Chemical distribution facility gets approval from Abbotsford council

Fire chief and mayor says no safety concern about ethanol distribution facility

Abbotsford’s We Are Hockey exhibit closing on Family Day

UFV SASI hosted exhibit set to end run with free event on Feb. 17

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read