There is no doubt that the plastic pollution problem requires an integrated global approach. In Canada alone, we throw away approximately 3 million tonnes of plastic annually. Only 9% of that is recycled. Most of it ends up in landfills, and about 29,000 tonnes go straight out into the natural environment as pollution.
On October 7, 2020, the Canadian Government announced it would move ahead with a plan to ban the following six harmful single-use disposable plastics:
- plastic checkout bags
- stir sticks
- 6-pack rings
- food service ware made from problematic plastics.
The Government's analysis considered a long list of single-use plastic products to determine which ones are most:
- environmentally problematic: found in natural and/or urban environments and are known or suspected to cause environmental harm (e.g., eaten by wildlife); and
- value recovery problematic: hamper recycling or wastewater treatment systems and have a low recycling rate.
The ban announcement is part of the Government's broader agenda to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.
The list of items to be banned was published in a discussion paper entitled, Proposed Integrated Management Approach to Plastic Products to Prevent Waste and Pollution. The paper is now open for public comments on the proposed approach, which includes regulations to be developed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). As such, the Government is also seeking comments on a proposed Order to add "plastic manufactured items" to Schedule 1 of CEPA. The Order would allow those regulations - which could include the actual ban - to be created under CEPA.
This is an opportunity for all Canadians to have a say in how the country will deal with plastics. You can submit your comments up to December 9, 2020, by sending them to this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A key part of why we exist is to offer you safe, high quality, ethically-sourced and Earth-friendly alternatives to plastic products. As we move toward a ban on these six single-use disposable items, please keep us in mind as you seek out durable, reusable alternatives to single-use items. Feel free take a look at what we have to offer as reusable replacements for single-use disposable bags, cutlery, straws, bottles and food containers.
All the best on your plastic-free journey!