Canada To Ban Single-Use Plastics As Early As 2021
The Canadian prime minister has announced plans to ban single-use plastics in the country as early as 2021.
As the fight against plastic pollution becomes ever more urgent, moves are being made across the world to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic produced.
In March, the EU voted to completely ban single-use plastic by 2021, and now Canada have followed suit in a bid to reduce the amount of harmful material which ends up in the world’s oceans, where it has negative impacts on marine life.
Globally a truckload of plastic waste enters the ocean every minute, a statement by the Canadian government explained.
According to the BBC, less than 10 per cent of the plastic used in Canada currently gets recycled. Around 3 million tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away each year in the country and as the products take decades to degrade they will simply be clogging up the environment for years to come.
The Canadian government has yet to decide exactly which single-use plastic products will be included on the list but it could target products such as plastic bags, straws and cutlery.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the issue of plastic pollution a ‘global challenge’ and ‘a problem we simply can’t ignore’.
He gave examples of how the material was affecting the environment, saying:
As parents we’re at a point when we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn’t littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles.
That’s a problem, one that we have to do something about.
According to CNN, the Canadian government reported every year 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die when they mistake plastic for food.
The Prime Minister continued:
Plastic waste ends up in our landfills and incinerators, litters our parks and beaches, and pollutes our rivers, lakes, and oceans, entangling and killing turtles, fish, and marine mammals.
Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. Without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.
As well as introducing the ban, the country will establish ‘targets’ for companies which manufacture or sell plastics to encourage them to be responsible for their plastic waste.
Every move we make towards reducing our impact on the environment is a step in the right direction.
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