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Canada Bans Single-Use Plastics Taking 32 Billion Products Off the Market

Much of the environmental news we hear is negative, which makes this good news all the more cause to celebrate! On June 20, 2022, the Canadian government announced a national ban on six single-use plastic products. This step will be a big help in reducing plastic use and protecting the oceans from plastic waste damage.

Photo Credit: Canadian Press/Rex/Shutterstock

An End to Single-Use Plastics in Canada

The single-use plastic products that will be phased out include shopping bags, plastic six-ring can carriers, plastic straws, single-use plastic food containers (including plates, bowls, and cutlery), and plastic stir sticks. 

In 2018, the Canadian government started its Zero Plastic Waste strategy, but it has taken until now for real bans to come into place. Oceana Canada, an independent charity that works to promote sustainable fishing practices and protect natural ocean habitats, has been advocating for zero plastic waste for years. They promoted a petition which achieved over 160,000 signatures in support of the ban.

Photo Credit: Steve Russell, Toronto Star Getty Images

In 2021, the ban on single-use plastics was first drafted, and Oceana Canada worked with policymakers to ensure the ban had the greatest impact… Here are some of the key points:

No Loopholes

Oceana Canada spotted technical loopholes that would allow businesses to replace lightweight single-use plastics with more durable single-use plastics that would still end up in landfills and the environment. The ban that was just announced, does not contain loopholes.

Sped Up the Timeline

The original ban wasn’t going to come into true effect until 2023 and 2024. Fortunately, the timeline was moved forward, with the manufacturing of banned single-use plastic products banned by the end of this year (2022). This will help avoid billions of tons of plastic from being produced, distributed, and from contributing to landfills and the environment.

No Export

The original draft of the ban only banned the manufacture of single-use plastic products for use within Canada – it did not ban the manufacture of single-use plastic for export. That meant that any items not environmentally friendly enough for Canada would simply be flown or shipped elsewhere in the world.

The final version bans the export of these single-use plastic products, making Canada only the second country in history to make the export of single-use plastic products illegal, though this won’t come into full effect until 2025.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, iStock

Paving the Way

This ban will reduce the number of single-use plastics on the market by 32 billion, which will drastically reduce plastic waste sitting in landfills for hundreds of years, or in the ocean harming marine life.

This new legislation will pave the way for other countries to follow suit, and even add to the ban with other single-use items such as food packaging. As we move forward, it’s ever more important that we continue to push for alternatives to plastic products, recyclable and eco-friendly choices.

It’s Up to Us

As a global community, it’s important to continue putting pressure on our governments and corporations to make better choices. As individuals, we can do our part to support the environment by choosing environmentally friendly products whenever possible… You can find many sustainable alternatives in our store.