Sunday, 15 September, 2019

Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

Sandy Nunez | 11 June, 2019, 04:23

"Many other countries are doing that and Canada will be one of them", Trudeau said.

Trudeau also announced on Monday that he plans to ensure companies that manufacture plastic products or sell them will be held responsible for their plastic waste.

Canada is to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. Trudeau stated that his government is now researching which items should be banned while confirming that Canada would follow the model laid out by the European Union.

"How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches across the world, their stomachs jam packed with plastic bags?"

In making its announcement on Monday, the Canadian government acknowledged the country's unique global role in curbing production of single-use plastics: "With the longest coastline in the world and one-quarter of the world's freshwater, Canada has a unique responsibility - and opportunity - to lead in reducing plastic pollution", the government said in its announcement.

"As parents, we're at a point when we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn't littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles".

The non-binding Ocean Plastics Charter called on participating countries and the European Union to commit to making all plastics reusable, recyclable or recovered by 2030.

The idea is to come up with a comprehensive plan to ban the sale and use of toxic plastic products within a couple of years.

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In March this year, City of Hobart councillors voted in favour of a by-law to support the ban and impose fines on those that don't comply.

In October 2018, the EU voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans.

Canada recently became entangled in a political dispute with the Philippines over 1,500 tons of household waste - mislabeled as recyclable plastics - shipped to Southeast Asia in 2013 and 2014.

But Trudeau said a "national solution" was needed.

About 3 million tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away each year in the country.

Recycling, he said, would not only cut down on pollution but would help produce 42,000 jobs in the recycling and recovery businesses.

"Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are exhausted of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste", Trudeau said.

Issues like climate change and pollution are widely expected to be among the top concerns on the campaign trail.