year, Canadians generates over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste. About
one-third of the plastic used in Canada are for single-use or short-lived
products and packaging. In fact, up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every
year and close to 57 million straws are used daily and less than 10 per cent of
plastic used in the country gets recycled.
With this problem now being seen as a monstrous disaster by the Canadian government, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 10, announced that the government of Canada will ban harmful single-use plastic items (such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks) by 2021.The government of Canada will also take additional steps to reduce Canada’s plastic waste, support innovation, and promote the use of affordable and safe alternatives. It will 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.
Trudeau said, “Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste. We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come.”
According to the claims by the government, looking to reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create approximately 42,000 jobs. This will improve the plastic waste management system in the country.
In the year 2018, at G7 Summit the government launched a campaign called Ocean Plastics Charter in order to reduce marine plastic litter which has become a global problem. With the longest coastline in the world and one-quarter of the world’s freshwater, Canada has a unique responsibility – and opportunity – to lead in reducing plastic pollution.
The government claimed to have removed over 1.3 million kg of trash from Canada’s shorelines through Ocean Wise and World Wildlife Fund’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program over last 25 years, with nearly 800,000 volunteers worked towards the implementation of the campaign. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change said,“We’ve all seen the disturbing images of fish, sea turtles, whales, and other wildlife being injured or dying because of plastic garbage in our oceans. Canadians expect us to act. That’s why our government intends to ban harmful single-use plastic products where science warrants it, and why we’re working with partners across Canada and around the world to reduce plastic pollution. Taking these steps will help create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs and make our economy even stronger—while protecting fish, whales, and other wildlife, and preserving the places we love.”