Canada to ban imports, production of single-use plastic by Dec. 20

Canada will be prohibiting the production and importation of most plastic items by Dec. 20, the Government said in an advisory on its website.

These items include plastic checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, stir sticks, straight and flexible straws packaged with beverage containers.

However, the use of individual, single-use plastic flexible straws not bundled with a packed beverage will remain allowed and available under certain conditions.

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Meanwhile, businesses will still be allowed to sell the plastic items they have, until all existing inventory is sold, even after Dec. 20, said the government on its website.

The website also reads the new policy is part of the country’s plan to meet its target of zero-plastic waste by 2030.

By 2025, Canada will have completely stopped the manufacture, import, and sale of most plastic items.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in June the ban was supposed to have been put in place in 2021, but the scientific assessment of plastics required to put the ban in motion was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A research study published by Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2019 revealed that 3.3 million tonnes of plastic were thrown out.

The study also said less than one-tenth of that plastic was recycled, with most ending up in landfills, where it will take hundreds of years to decompose.

In 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first promised that the government would phase out the production and use of hard-to-recycle plastic items as Canada aims for zero plastic waste by the end of the decade.

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