Trudeau: Canada to push bans and plastic EPR

Cheryl Sanders
June 13, 2019

Some businesses have already started replacing plastic straws with paper ones, and some encourage people to bring in travel mugs for coffee rather than using a stryofoam one.

"Plastic pollution is a growing threat in Canada and around the world, and we can not afford to ignore it", said Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin, who delivered the opening statement at Monday's announcement.

"I am very pleased to announce that as early as 2021, Canada will ban harmful, single-use plastics from coast to coast", Trudeau said, arguing Canada has a unique chance to lead the fight against plastic pollution as the country with the world's longest coastlines.

Trudeau also said the steps would support efforts by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to reduce plastic waste.

The ban will cover plastics like single-use straws, grocery bags, cutlery, plates and stir sticks.

The unsatisfactory answer from the PM came after his government announced plans to ban many single-use plastics. A high-profile campaign against plastic straws a year ago 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.

Plastic beverage bottles won't be banned in Europe but the European Union will require them to contain a minimum of 30 per cent recycled material by 2030, and a collection rate for recycling or reuse of 90 per cent by 2029.

Of course, there will be those who would argue over the tricky question of how big a carbon print, making paper bags would leave, but again, you can not expect that shoppers go home juggling with their groceries.

Plastic straws are already on their way out by restaurants' choice, but will nearly certainly be covered by the Canadian ban nonetheless.

But Trudeau said a "national solution" was needed.

It was followed by a local push to say no to plastic water bottles.

A recent report done by Deloitte and ChemInfo Services for Environment and Climate Change Canada found a 90-per-cent plastics recycling rate in Canada could create 42,000 jobs.

Acknowledging the value of plastic for several industries, she said that the problem "isn't plastic but plastic pollution".

The Ontario government wants to develop a made-in-Ontario Environment Plan that will shift towards a "producer responsibility" system that will see producers pay for and manage waste materials instead of taxpayers.

That six-month campaign, tagged the Shopper Loyalty Program, took place in the fall of 2008 and resulted in about a 50 per cent reduction in the use of plastic bags in Sault Ste. The slowing down of business could impact their livelihood, the Conservatives said in a statement.

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