Federal government to look into single-use plastics ban: source
The federal government is considering a ban on single-use plastics, Global News has learned.
A process that will look into a ban will be announced Monday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.
The ban could come into effect as early as 2021, according to a government source.
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The announcement will not include specifics about the type of products that will be banned, which will be determined with scientific and expert input, but the ban should follow a plastics ban approved by the European Union (EU) in March.
The EU’s ban that will come into effect by 2021 includes plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, cotton swabs made of plastic and products made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags, which do not biodegrade completely due to additives.
The EU also aims to collect 90 per cent of plastic bottles by 2029.
The EU’s motion made it a part of a growing number of countries enforcing bans on plastic items.
The U.K. announced a similar ban shortly before the EU’s vote, and more than 30 other countries have banned at least some single-use plastics, including France, India, Taiwan and Italy, as well as a number of states, such as New York and California.
The upcoming Canadian announcement may receive some backlash, though.
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Canada’s plastics industry has been found to be much larger than its recycling industry, according to a report done by Deloitte and ChemInfo Services and commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The report shows that Canada’s plastics manufacturing industry produces $35 billion in sales and supports around 93,000 jobs among more than 1,900 companies.
The potential ban could help Canada’s recycling industry, though, which a months-long Global investigation revealed in May is in a state of disrepair.
With few exceptions in the country, more recycling is sent to landfills and fewer items are being accepted from blue bins. Recycling programs are also becoming a financial burden for some municipalities.
Environment and Climate Change Canada’s report supports this, pegging the amount of plastic that ended up in the trash in 2016 at 3.3 million tonnes — 12 times the amount of plastic that was recycled.
With files from the Canadian Press and Abigail Bimman
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