MONTREAL: Canada will ban single-use plastics from 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday, declaring it a “global challenge” to phase out the plastic bags, straws and cutlery clogging the world’s oceans.
“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.
Less than 10 per cent of plastics used in Canada are currently recycled, he said.
Each year a million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals worldwide suffer injury or death by becoming entangled in plastic or ingesting it through the food chain — with single-use items representing some 70 per cent of the plastic waste littering the marine environment.
“You’ve all heard the stories and seen the photos. And to be honest, as a dad it is tough trying to explain this to my kids,” Trudeau said.
“How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches around the world, their stomachs jam-packed with plastic bags?” “How do I tell them that against all odds, you will find plastic at the very deepest point of the Pacific Ocean?” “People around the world are grappling with this every day,” Trudeau said.
“As parents we’re at a point where we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn’t littered with straws, styrofoam or bottles.
“That’s a problem.”
Straws, plastic bags, cutlery, plates and stir sticks would be among the items banned, a government statement said.
Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2019