Science

'National solution': Canada will ban all single-use plastics from 2021

'National solution': Canada will ban all single-use plastics from 2021”

The prime minister spoke about the plan in a speech Monday at the Gault Nature Reserve in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, outside Montreal.

He also revealed intentions to make companies that manufacture plastic products or sell them to take responsibility for recycling their plastic waste.

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

Trudeau said the government will research the question of which items it should ban and follow the model chosen by the European Union, which voted in March to ban plastic items for which market alternatives exist-such as single-use plastic cutlery and plates-and items made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags. "That's a problem, one that we have to do something about".

Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and Canadians will throw away an estimated $C11 billion ($11.9 billion) worth of plastic materials each year by 2030 without a change in course, the Government said in a statement.

He said the situation of plastic overflowing in landfills and polluting oceans and waterways has reached a breaking point, and action is needed.

Canada has delayed implementation until 2021 to allow time for a "science-based" decision on exactly which plastics "are harmful to the environment and human health", according to a government statement. 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.

The move could lead to increased costs for industry and its customers, Thayer said, but also opens up opportunities for Canadian companies to take the lead in finding new and innovative ways to better recycle and reuse plastics. The United States did not sign on to the U.N. agreement.

Other countries in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, have started returning previously accepted waste from other countries, The New York Times reported.

"The issue of plastic pollution will increasingly be seen as an issue for developing countries that feel they are being dumped with waste from rich countries that should be taking care of their own waste internally", said Sara Seck, a Dalhousie University law professor.



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