Canada bans single-use plastics to combat climate change and pollution

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The Canadian government has said Canada will ban the manufacture and import of “harmful” single-use plastics by the end of the year, in a sweeping effort to combat pollution and climate change.

Environment Canada said Monday that most plastic grocery bags, cutlery and straws will be subject to the ban, with a few exceptions for medical needs.

“The ban on the manufacture and import of these harmful single-use plastics, with the exception of some targeted exceptions to identify specific cases, will come into effect in December 2022,” it said in a statement. statement.

“To provide companies in Canada with sufficient time to turn around and deplete their existing stock, the sale of these items will be prohibited from December 2023.” It added that it would also stop exporting such plastics by the end of 2025 to prevent international pollution.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who first promised to phase out hard-to-recycle plastics in 2019, hailed the move as a boost to Canada’s efforts to tackle climate change. “We have promised to ban harmful single-use plastics, and we’re delivering on that promise,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Over the next 10 years, this ban will eliminate more than 1.3 million tons of plastic waste and more than 22,000 tons of plastic pollution. This is equivalent to one million garbage bags full of rubbish.”

In Canada, up to 15 billion plastic grocery bags are used each year, and nearly 16 million straws are used every day, according to government figures, with these single-use plastics making up most of the plastic trash found across Canada’s coasts.

“With these new regulations, we are taking a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution, and keeping our communities and the places we love clean,” said Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stephen Gilbolt.

Global efforts continue on how to process materials that take centuries to degrade.

KenyaAnd the ChileThe United Kingdom and European Union They have all imposed various bans on single-use plastic goods — while Canada’s neighbor, the United States, ranks as the world’s largest contributor to plastic waste, according to the A report commissioned by Congress released last year.

The United Nations, earlier this year, laid the foundations for a legally binding ambition treaty To reduce plastic waste. A global treaty to end plastic pollution could lead to restrictions on plastic production or rules to make plastics easier and less toxic to repurpose.

However, treaty proposals are provisional and have received opposition from the oil and petrochemical industries.

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Environmentalists also considered the coronavirus pandemic to be a step backwards in the global plastic crisis for many countries. The use of disposable masks and personal protective equipment has led to a sharp rise in pollution, with about 8 million metric tons of plastic waste linked to the epidemic created by 193 countries, according to for international study published last year. Much of the waste has ended up in the oceans, threatening to disrupt marine life and pollute beaches.

Canada’s Greenpeace welcomed Ottawa’s move but said the country still had to do more.

Sarah King, chair of the Environment Group’s Oceans and Plastics Campaign, said in a statement statement. “The government needs to go on high alert by expanding the ban list and reducing overall plastic production.”

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation, also an environmental charity Call The Canadian government should take “faster action to stem the tide of plastic pollution”. She said public pressure was growing and suggested expanding the list of goods to include drinking glasses, cigarette filters and individual service packs.

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United State constribte To the deluge pollutes more than any other country, generating about 287 pounds of plastic per capita annually.

Intermittent efforts have been made by some countries, with New York implementation Ban single-use plastic bags in 2020. Earlier this month, in California law Project It was introduced to reduce plastic production for single-use products like shampoo bottles and food wrappers by 25 percent starting in the next decade.

The Biden administration issued an order this month to phase out single-use and packaging plastic products on public lands by 2032, according to A statement issued by the Ministry of the Interior. This includes plastic and polystyrene food and drink containers, bottles, straws and cups, she said.