The Government of Canada has published final regulations that will prohibit harmful single-use plastics and ban the manufacturing and importing of most of these items starting in December.

Source: Global News/Youtube

The new ban will be for single-use plastics, including grocery bags, cutlery, and food service ware that is made from or contains problematic plastic that is hard to recycle. They will also prohibit ring carries, stir sticks, and straws with some exceptions, the Canadian Government said in a statement.

The ban on manufacturing and importing these single-use plastics will have a few exceptions to recognize specific cases. The Government said that to provide Canadian businesses enough time to transition and deplete their existing stocks, the sale of all of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023. The Government also announced a plan to prohibit the export of plastics in the six categories by the end of 2025. This makes Canada the first to do so internationally.

“We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics. Today, that’s exactly what we’ve done. By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics. After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or reusable bags. With these new regulations, we’re taking a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution and keeping our communities and the places we love clean,” said the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

According to the Government, over the next decade, this ban will result in the estimated elimination of over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution. This is equivalent to over a million garbage bags full of trash.

Source: PBS NewsHour/Youtube

“We are focused on protecting the health of those who live in Canada while improving our environment. We know that plastic pollution can be found in outdoor air, food, and drinking water, so by addressing this, we will improve health outcomes for all Canadians. These new regulations mark a turning point for Canada. We are taking strong action to protect the environment, creating cleaner and healthier communities across the country,” said the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health.

This new regulation is helping Canada’s ongoing agenda to address plastic waste and pollution. They hope that their efforts will encourage other countries to do the same and become world leaders in fighting plastic pollution alongside Canada.

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around  8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove,  Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives, including making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, and reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below: 

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