Canada Pledges To Ban Single-Use Plastic By 2021

'Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste'
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Keeping the environment 'clean and safe for generations to come' (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Canada has pledged to ban single-use plastics and 'hold companies responsible' for plastic waste by 2021.

The country's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau announced the Canadian Government plans to prohibit the use of 'harmful' plastic items if warranted by 'scientific evidence'.

Though it is not specified which items will be banned, single-use products such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks were mentioned as contributors to the country's plastic problem.

Currently, less than 10 percent of plastic used in Canada actually gets recycled. If this continues, it is estimated Canadians will throw away around $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.

'We have a responsibility'

Trudeau said: "Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste.

"We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come.'

Canada also aims to 'work with provinces and territories to introduce standards, and targets, for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging'.

'Preserving the places we love'

"We've all seen the disturbing images of fish, sea turtles, whales, and other wildlife being injured or dying because of plastic garbage in our oceans," said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

"Canadians expect us to act. That's why our government intends to ban harmful single-use plastic products where science warrants it, and why we're working with partners across Canada and around the world to reduce plastic pollution.

"Taking these steps will help create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs and make our economy even stronger—while protecting fish, whales, and other wildlife, and preserving the places we love."