Canada has released a list to jumpstart its green initiative to ban commonly used single-use plastic. In a report from the Government of Canada, only nine percent of the three million tons of single-use plastic that Canada uses gets recycled — most of it ends up in landfills and about 29,000 tons ends up in the environment.
They’re starting small and hoping their efforts will inspire real change. In stores, plastic bags will no longer be available at check out. Straws, plastic utensils, plastic rings on six-packs, and beverage stir sticks are also on the ban list.
It’s all a part of the country’s initiative to have zero plastic waste by 2030. The minister for the environment, Jonathan Wilkinson, spoke at a press conference and said, “Plastic pollution threatens our natural environment. It fills our rivers or lakes, and most particularly our oceans, choking the wildlife that live there. Canadians see the impact that pollution has from coast to coast to coast.”
He continues, “the Government is introducing a comprehensive plan to get to zero plastic waste. Our plan embraces the transition towards a circular economy, recycled-content standards, and targets for recycling rates.”
The country hopes that this new ban will “help drive innovation across the country as new and easier-to-recycle items take their place in our economy.”
With the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a growing awareness of pollution caused by the increased use of personal protective equipment. But Canadian officials assured people that this ban will not affect PPE. “We did discuss pollution considerations relating to PPE at the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers meeting earlier this summer,” the minister for the environment said, “We committed, with the provinces and territories, to working together and with industry to ensure that we can properly dispose of PPE so that it does not end up in our natural environment.”
He added, “We are also investigating solutions to recycle PPE where it is safe to do so, and add options to make some of the PPE biodegradable.”