SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The federal government of Canada announced its decision to ban the manufacturing and import of several harmful single-use plastics. The new regulations are scheduled to come into force in December this year.
The government press release said that the proposed new rules will be applicable to checkout bags, utensils, food-service products with plastic that is difficult to recycle, ring carriers, stir sticks, as well as straws. The sale of such items will be prohibited effective December next year. A grace period of one year is allowed so as to help businesses adjust with the changes and extinguish their existing stock. Also, the exports of six categories of single-use plastics will be banned by the end of 2025, it said.
The regulation to ban single–use plastic follows listing of plastic as toxic by the federal government last year. However, the government is being sued by a consortium of plastic producers over the toxic designation.
Steven Guilbeault, Canadian Environment Minister said that this is a historic step towards beating plastic pollution and keeping its communities, lands and oceans clean.
The country is cited as one of the world’s largest consumers of single-use plastics. As per rough estimates, Canada consumes around 15 billion plastic checkout bags per year and nearly 16 million straws per day. They tend to cause significant environmental pollution.