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Canada moves to ban single-use plastics

Canada moves to ban single-use plastics”

Single-use items represent some 70 per cent of the plastic waste littering the marine environment.

USA states and cities are also banning various forms of plastic, with Hawaii and ME recently cracking down on polystyrene, the lightweight packaging known by the brand name Styrofoam.

-Every year, one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his government is starting the regulatory work to ban toxic single-use plastics because the garbage infiltrating the world's waterways is out of hand.

Several cities in Canada already have bans on plastic bags in place.

Trudeau said his ban could be implemented "as early as 2021", which doesn't mean anything.

A total of 21 governments have by now taken that pledge, Mr Trudeau said.

The government has not announced yet as to exactly which plastic items will be banned.

In the ACT, there is a proposal to ban a range of single-use plastics, as the territory tries to step up its efforts to reduce landfill.

But the industry also urged Trudeau and other policymakers not to prejudge the outcomes and to consider the full lifecycle impact of both plastics and alternatives.

However, the decision to spend $4.5 billion to purchase the existing Trans Mountain pipeline infrastructure from Kinder Morgan previous year raised criticisms from political opponents and environmental groups that the government was talking out of both sides of its mouth by both buying the pipeline and advocating for environmental regulations. A high-profile campaign against plastic straws past year drove numerous multi-national food and beverage companies - including A&W and Starbucks - to replace plastic straws with paper versions, and many restaurants just stopped automatically putting straws in drinks as a first step. The Plastics Lab has found an average of 3,200 particles of microplastics per cubic meter of seawater in the coastal Strait of Georgia.

Canada's biggest advantage as a producer of plastics is its abundant cheap natural gas feedstock and that won't change under the proposed ban, said Ashish Chitalia, principal analyst for polyolefins for consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

But Trudeau said a "national solution" was needed.

The government is also in the final stages of passing two bills they argue will tighten environmental assessment criteria for energy projects and also protect the sensitive coast of northern British Columbia from oil spills by banning tanker traffic.

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

While Trudeau has declared it a top priority, a recent parliamentary report concluded Canada is doing too little to combat climate change, even as government scientists warned the country was warming at twice the global rate.



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