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Canada to ban harmful single-use plastics and hold companies responsible for plastic waste

Jun 10, 2019

Plastic pollution is a global challenge that requires immediate action. 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. We've reached a defining moment, and this is a problem we simply can't afford to ignore.

That is why the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Government of Canada is taking additional steps to reduce Canada's plastic waste, support innovation, and promote the use of affordable and safe alternatives. Working with governments and businesses across Canada, the Government of Canada will:

o   Ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021 (such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks) where supported by scientific evidence and warranted, and take other steps to reduce pollution from plastic products and packaging

o   Work with provinces and territories to introduce standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging so they become responsible for their plastic waste.

These measures will be grounded in scientific evidence and will align, where appropriate, with similar actions being taken in the European Union and other countries. They will also support the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's development of an action plan to implement the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.

By improving how we manage plastic waste and investing in innovative solutions, we can reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create approximately 42,000 jobs.

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