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

Lantzville opts against forming social media committee

Committee would have helped district council develop policy on social media behaviour

Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary has been fundraising for 120 years

Hospital auxiliary president says group pioneered Wi-Fi at hospitals on Island

Gabriola Island community bus sees 100,000th rider

Gabriola Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express celebrated milestone Jan. 25

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor and council aren’t necessary

Instead of candidates, put municipal priorities on the ballot, says letter writer

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Protesters in Nanaimo preach peace in Iran

Rally sees gathering at Diana Krall Plaza in downtown Nanaimo

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

Licensed cannabis store opens in Nanaimo’s north end

Mood Cannabis Company’s Metral Drive location opened Jan. 18

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

Most Read