Canada to phase out single-use plastics by the end of 2021

By Lucy Jones  October 20th, 2020

The ban is part of the country's plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.

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Canada will phase out single-use plastic bags, straws, stirrers, six-pack rings, cutlery and take-away food containers by the end of 2021.

"These items are harmful to our environment and their value is lost from the economy when they are tossed in the trash. This proposed ban will help drive innovation across the country as new and easier to recycle items take their place in our economy,” Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, said in a statement.

Canada is banning single-use plastic items that meet the following criteria: there is evidence that they pollute the environment, they are often not recycled and alternatives already exist. The ban is part of a larger push to phase out plastic waste completely by 2030.

In a newly released discussion paper, 'Proposed Integrated Management Approach to Plastic Products to Prevent Waste and Pollution', the government lists problematic single-use plastics that will be banned as well as short-lived disposable products that are under investigation. The discussion paper also outlines plans to establish recycled content requirements to create a market for recycled plastics.

"Recognising the importance of recycled content requirements to drive demand for these markets, the Government of Canada has adopted a target of at least 50% recycled content in plastic products by 2030," the report states.

By introducing new plastic waste management measures, the Canadian government hopes to create 42,000 jobs across the country and slash annual greenhouse gas emission by 1.8 million tonnes.

“Canadians see the effects of plastic pollution in their communities and waterways and they expect the Government to take action. Our Government is introducing a comprehensive plan to get to zero plastic waste," Wilkinson explained.

"Our plan embraces the transition towards a circular economy, recycled-content standards and targets for recycling rates."

Head here to read the discussion paper in full.

Interested in the circular economy? Planet Ark's Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACE Hub) officially launches on November 24 with an online event that will be live broadcast from the Sydney Opera House. Join us for a morning of talks from some of the brightest minds in the Australian and international Circular Economy space. Head here for more information and to secure your ticket.

Subscribe to the Australian Circular Economy Hub newsletter for the latest circular economy stories and updates on the ACE Hub.

Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 

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Lucy Jones

Lucy started her career working as a writer and editor in print and digital publishing. She went on to create content for Australia's leading sustainable fashion platform while completing her Master of Cultural Studies. Lucy spends her downtime at the beach, crocheting and hanging out with her cat Larry. She believes words can change the world and is stoked to help Planet Ark spread the message of positive environmental change.

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