The new regulations will ban the sale and import of “harmful” plastics, with some time for the business to adjust.
The Government of Canada has announced that it will ban the production and import of a number of “harmful” disposable plasticsas several new regulations come into force in December.
The new rules, announced Monday, will apply to cash bags, utensils, food products with recyclable plastics, ring carriers, sticks and straws, with some exceptions, the government said in a statement.
“Our government is ready when it comes to downsizing plastic pollution “That is why we are announcing today that our government is fulfilling its commitment to ban harmful disposable plastics,” Environment Minister Stephen Gilbo told a news conference on Monday.
“This is a historic step towards overcoming plastic pollution and keeping our communities, lands and oceans clean.
The sale of such items will be forbidden starting in December 2023, a buffer period that aims to give businesses time to adapt to change and discontinue their existing supplies.
The government will also ban the export of six plastics by the end of 2025.
The federal government listed plastics as toxic under Canada’s environmental law last year, paving the way for regulations to ban some. However, a consortium of plastics manufacturers is suing the government for the toxic label in a case expected to be heard later this year.
Canada uses 15 billion plastic bags a year and 16 million straws a day, the government said.
A recent UN report says the global use of plastics is expected to triple by 2060, and annual production of fossil fuels will reach more than 1.2 billion tonnes by the same year. The waste generated by such production levels would be more than 1 billion tonnes a year.
Such reports have contributed to growing concerns around the world about the proliferation of plastics and the problems they cause for pollution and environment.
We promised the Canadians that we would ban single-use plastics.
That is exactly what we are announcing today.
– Stephen Gilbo (@s_guilbeault) June 20, 2022
In the last 70 years, the world has produced about 8.3 billion tons of plastic, 60 percent of which is discarded in landfills, oceans and rivers or burned.
Some manufacturing groups in Canada have previously expressed opposition to the proposed regulations, despite promises by the government to give businesses time to adjust. Conservative groups, such as the Montreal Institute of Economics (MEI), have said regulations regulate “potential innovation” in the plastics industry and “will harm the economy without any guarantee of environmental support.” At least six percent of MEI’s funding comes from the oil and gas industry.
The Canadian government said it had “held extensive consultations to seek information on the development of the proposed regulations, and had heard that businesses needed guidance on moving to available alternative products and systems”.