Canada to ban single-use plastic by 2021

Posted by Imogen Searra on 15 October 2020

Canada’s environmental minister has announced plans to phase out single-use plastic items by 2021 and to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.

The single-use plastic items the country is planning to ban include shopping bags, straws, sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery and food containers made from plastics that are difficult to recycle.

‘Plastic pollution threatens our natural environment. It fills our rivers or lakes, and most particularly our oceans, choking the wildlife that lives there. Canadians see the impact that pollution has from coast to coast to coast,’ said Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson in a news conference shared on Facebook.

The International Solid Waste Association has estimated that plastic waste consumption has risen between 250% and 300% since the coronavirus began spreading across the world.

Disposable Personal Protective Equipment (PEE), specifically masks, are a threat to the natural world. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the demand for face masks and gloves has increased.

From this demand and incorrect disposal, a negative impact on the environment has been recorded.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to our oceans. Disposable masks that are used as PPE are manufactured using non-woven fabrics that are made from a plastic known as polypropylene. Therefore these items are not biodegradable.

The ban in Canada however, will not affect civilian access to PPE or other plastics used in a medical environment as these items are essential due to the pandemic.

In another small win for the environment, England has officially banned the use of single-use straws, stirrers and cotton buds, making it illegal for businesses to sell or supply these items.

If you’re looking to live a more plastic-free lifestyle, here are some tips and tricks on how to go about it.

Image: Unsplash

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