Canada has decided to ban all disposable plastic items by the end of 2021, the country’s environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced on Wednesday.
The list of banned includes plastic bags, whistles, mixing sticks and cutlery, plastic rings for beer can packaging and food packaging whose plastic is not recyclable. The bill is part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s broader environmental program, which aims to get rid of plastic waste completely by 2030.
There is enough work to do. According to a study commissioned by the government last year, nearly 90 percent of all plastic products end up in the country, either in landfills or in nature. Indeed, Wilkinson acknowledged that on the other side of the Atlantic, plastic recycling is far ahead.
“Many European countries, including the UK, have embarked on this path and we are guaranteed to learn from the work they have done,” Wilkinson said at a news conference.
According to Wilkinson, there are already cheap alternatives to banned products. He said there will continue to be a lot of plastic products that are disposable, but they need to be ones that can be recycled.
Coffee cup lids are one of the problem areas that Wilkinson says is still being addressed.
The Board is also investigating a possible requirement to use recycled plastic in products and packaging. It is hoped to increase plastic recycling and improve packaging design.