The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Canada to Announce Ban on Single-Use Plastics
An announcement on specific prohibited items will wait until the government surveys a science-based review, but plastic straws, cotton swabs, drink stirrers, plates, cutlery and balloon sticks are just some of the single-use plastics that will be banned, according to an official government source who spoke to the CBC.
The official said the government will establish achievable targets and metrics to work with the private sector for a gradual reduction in plastic pollution over the next few years, Canada's National Post reported.
The full list of banned products will mirror the comprehensive list of banned products the European Union agreed to in March, which included oxo-degradable plastic and polystyrene fast food containers, which are similar to white styrofoam, the CBC reports.
The EU's aggressive move to curb plastic usage not only placed a ban on single-use items, but also took aim at plastic producers, holding them responsible for the cost of waste management and clean up. The member states will have to clean up 90 percent of plastic bottles by 2025. Items like balloons and sanitary wipes will have clear labeling instructing the user on how to dispose it, according to Deutsche Welle.
The Trudeau government is no stranger to partnering with EU members states on matters of environmental stewardship. Last year, his government created the Ocean Plastics Charter at the G7 summit in Quebec. The European Union and 63 companies immediately signed on, agreeing to find ways to reduce marine plastics litter, the National Post reported.
The issue of plastic waste has recently been a scourge for Canada and a public relations nightmare. Early this year, a report by the consulting firms Deloitte and ChemInfo Services commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada found that only nine percent of Canada's plastic waste is recycled and 87 percent ended up in landfills, the CBC reported. Environment and Climate Change Canada also found that Canadians throw away more than 34 million plastic bags everyday.
Additionally, since China stopped accepting plastic waste last May, Canada has been at a loss for where to send their plastic waste. Last month, the Philippines pulled its ambassadors out of Ottawa and shipped back to Canada 69 containers of plastics mixed with rotting garbage, according to the AP.
Environmental activists, belonging to the waste and pollution watch group EcoWaste coalition, protest outside the Canadian embassy in Manila on May 21 to push the Canadian government to speed up removal of their garbage out of Manila and Subic Ports.
MARIA SALVADOR TAN / AFP / Getty Images
While some municipalities in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Quebec, including Montreal, have banned plastic straws and bags, there has been an outcry for a comprehensive and consistent national strategy from environmental experts, according to the CBC.
In addition to Trudeau's announcement in Montreal, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson will be in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, discussing the same initiative, the National Post reports.
- The Future Isn't in Plastics - EcoWatch ›
- Plastics Industry Loses Legal Bid Against Chile's Landmark Bag Ban ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jessica Taft
Fifteen kids from a dozen countries, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, recently brought a formal complaint to the United Nations. They're arguing that climate change violates children's rights as guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a global agreement.
Susan Vineyard / iStock / Getty Images Plus
By Justin Mikulka
Increasingly, U.S. shale firms appear unable to pay back investors for the money borrowed to fuel the last decade of the fracking boom. In a similar vein, those companies also seem poised to stiff the public on cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on.
Top officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed to lawmakers last week that they knowingly — and illegally — stalled hurricane aid to Puerto Rico.
It appears Jane Fonda is good for her word. The actress and political activist said she would hold demonstrations on Capitol Hill every Friday through January to demand action on the climate crisis. Sure enough, Fonda was arrested for demonstrating a second Friday in a row Oct. 18, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only this time, her Grace and Frankie co-star Sam Waterston joined her.
Switzerland's two Green parties made historic gains in the country's parliamentary elections Sunday, according to projections based on preliminary results reported by The New York Times.
By Jeff Turrentine
The coal industry is dying. But we can't allow the communities that have been dependent on coal to die along with it.