Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday, June 10, that Canada is planning to ban single-use plastics by 2021 in an attempt to curb plastic pollution.
“I’m very happy to announce that as early as 2021 Canada will ban harmful single-use plastics from coast to coast to coast,” said Trudeau.
Speaking at a nature reserve in Mont St.-Hilaire, south of Montreal, Trudeau explained the process the government would undertake.
“Our approach including determining which products fall under the ban will be grounded in scientific evidence and closely mirror the actions being taken by the European Union and like-minded countries,” stated Trudeau.
In addition to the proposal to ban certain single-use plastic items, Trudeau stated the Canadian government would collaborate with industries to make companies that produce or sell plastic products responsible for the collection and recycling of their plastic waste.
Whether it is plastic bottles or cellphones, Trudeau reiterated, “It will be up to businesses to take responsibility for the plastics they’re manufacturing and putting out into the world.”
The Canadian government is planning to ban water bottles, plastic bags, and straws.
The Canadian prime minister presented the rationale for the government’s plan to ban single-used plastics, stating that every year Canadians toss out US$6 billion worth of plastic waste.
By barring single-use plastics as early as 2021 and making companies accountable for recycling their plastic waste, Trudeau said the government is doing its part to protect wildlife and to provide “our kids and grandkids a cleaner and healthier future.”
He explained that through recycling or reusing plastics, the government could prevent pollution, create over 40,000 jobs across Canada, and produce billions of dollars in revenue.
In March, the European Union (EU) Parliament unanimously voted to ban single-use plastics as a preventive measure against plastic waste on land and waterways.
Canada and four other countries signed an agreement at the last G-7 summit, pledging to reuse, recycle, or burn all plastic waste to produce energy by 2040.
The United States and Japan, however, did not sign the agreement.