Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced the next steps in the Government’s plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.
The Six Items Proposed for Ban
A key part of the plan is a ban on harmful
items where there is evidence that they are found in the environment, are often not recycled, and have readily available alternatives. Based on those criteria, the six items the Government proposes to ban are:
- Plastic Checkout Bags
- Stir Sticks
- Six-Pack Rings
- Food Ware Made from Hard-to-Recycle Plastics
The Government of Canada is proposing to establish
in products and packaging. This will drive investment in recycling infrastructure and spur innovation in technology and product design to extend the life of plastic materials.
The Government wants to hear from Canadians and stakeholders on this approach to protect the environment from plastic pollution and reduce waste through a more circular economy. Comments will be accepted until December 9, 2020. Regulations will be finalized by the end of 2021.
Canada’s Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste
The Government of Canada is collaborating with provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. Together, all federal, provincial and territorial governments agreed to the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste that lays out a vision for a circular economy for plastics, as well as a two-phase action plan that is being jointly implemented. Provinces, territories, and municipalities are leaders in the recovery and
The Government of Canada is continuing to work with them to strengthen existing programs and increase Canada’s capacity to reuse and recover more plastics. This will include collaborating with them to develop pan-Canadian targets to ensure that rules are consistent and transparent across the country, and make producers and sellers of plastic products responsible for collecting them.
Minister Wilkinson also took the opportunity to announce over $2M through the Zero Plastic Waste Initiative for 14 new Canadian-led plastic reduction initiatives. These projects are led by communities, organizations, and institutions, and will promote the development of new and innovative solutions to prevent, capture and remove plastic pollution from the environment.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of Canadians is the Government of Canada's highest priority. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has played an important role in keeping Canadians safe, particularly the frontline health care workers. The ban on harmful single-use plastics will not impact access to PPE. The Government of Canada is also working with the provinces and territories, through the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers (CCME), and with the private sector to keep PPE out of the environment.