Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the commonwealth will ban single-use plastics nationwide, with some items like bags, straws and cutlery prohibited as early as 2021. In his announcement, Trudeau admitted that details are scant at the moment, but promises to ground the bans in science, including input from industry, and pledges to get the bans done right, as that is what “Canadians expect.”
In addition to banning single-use plastics, the Prime Minister promises that those that produce plastic packaging will be responsible for the collection and recycling of the material, and that Canada will model their efforts after those by the European Union, who passed a sweeping ban of single-use plastics last October, with some items also set to be prohibited by 2021.
The announcement comes as the Philippines and Malaysia have both asked Canada to take back their garbage, creating somewhat of a row for a country that’s considered environmentally progressive. Last year the nation used its turn as president of the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations to make tackling ocean pollution a priority. Ultimately, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and the European Union joined Canada in pledging, via a non-binding agreement, to recycle, burn for energy, or reuse all plastic by 2040. The US and Japan are the only G7 nation members that didn’t sign the pledge.
The bans, however, are far from certain, as Canada is holding national elections this October, with a new government under no obligation to follow through. Trudeau’s government has made the environment a focal point, but it hasn’t been easy-going, with opposition conservatives claiming the latest announcement is an attempt by Trudeau “to change the channel,” and environmentalists and indigenous people unhappy with his government’s efforts to bolster the nation’s energy sector by supporting pipelines.
According to the Prime Minister, Canada throws away CA$8 billion of plastic material every year and that single-use plastic bans will create 42,000 jobs nationwide, reduce pollution, and generate billions of dollars in revenue.
by Rudy Sanchez on 06/11/2019