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.
- Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns ... ›
- A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution ›
- Plastic bans: Where single-use straws, bags, and more aren't allowed ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Toxic Waste Will Continue to Grow for Decades Even if All U.S. Drilling and Fracking Halts Today, New Report Says
By Jessica Corbett
For more than three decades, the U.S. government has mismanaged toxic oil and gas waste containing carcinogens, heavy metals and radioactive materials, according to a new Earthworks report — and with the country on track to continue drilling and fracking for fossil fuels, the advocacy group warns of growing threats to the planet and public health.
Newly adopted guidelines set forth by the European Commission Tuesday aim to tackle climate change by way of the financial sector. The move comes to bolster the success of the Sustainable Action Plan published last year to reorient capital flows toward sustainable investment and manage financial risks from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues.