Canada to ban most single-use plastics by the end of the year

The Canadian government on Monday published final regulations banning companies from importing or making “harmful” single-use plastics by the end of the year.

As CNBC reports, the ban will include items such as checkout bags, cutlery, bottles, straws, and food-service ware made from or containing plastics that are hard to recycle.

“The ban on the manufacture and import of these harmful single-use plastics, barring a few targeted exceptions to recognize specific cases, will come into effect in December 2022,” the government said on Monday. The sale of these items will be prohibited by December 2023, which is meant to give businesses enough time to transition and deplete their existing stocks.

“The Government will also prohibit the export of plastics in the six categories by the end of 2025, making Canada the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally,” they added.

Single-use plastic straws have been given exemptions in certain cases and will continue to be available for medical and accessibility reasons in homes, social settings, and healthcare settings, such as hospitals.

Canadian government figures show that as many as 15 billion plastic checkout bags are used every year and 16 million straws are used daily in Canada, per Reuters. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the ban will eliminate more than 1.3 million tons of plastic waste over the next decade.

Canada had previously announced such a ban that would have gone into effect in 2021, initially planning to ban the items at home but continue to ship them abroad. However, such a law needed more scientific reasoning before it could move ahead.

Last year, the federal government listed plastics as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act last year, thus paving the way for the current law to move ahead.



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