The federal government has announced a list of six specific plastic items that they hope to ban by the end of 2021.
In an announcement on Wednesday, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, proposed regulations to ban plastic checkout bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, and food ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics by the end of 2021.
This proposal represents the next steps in a plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030 that was first announced in June 2019.
“Every year, Canadians throw away 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, only 9%of which is recycled, meaning the vast majority of plastics end up in landfills and about 29,000 tonnes finds its way into our natural environment,” reads a statement from the Minister.
“This list of items was published today in the discussion paper Proposed Integrated Management Approach to Plastic Products to Prevent Waste and Pollution. This plan also proposes improvements to recover and recycle plastic, so it stays in our economy and out of the environment.”
The announcement includes a proposal to establish recycled content requirements in products and packaging, which the government expects will drive investment in recycling infrastructure and innovation in how to make plastic materials last longer.
To start the drive for these innovations, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change announced a $2 million fund administered through the Zero Plastic Waste Initiative for 14 new plastic reduction initiatives spearheaded by organizations and institutions across the country.
Feedback from stakeholders on the plastic ban proposal will be accepted until December 9, 2020 and regulations are expected to be finalized by the end of 2021.
The federal government will be collaborating with provincial and municipal counterparts to ensure the rules are consistently implemented across the country.