These plastics will be banned in Canada by 2021

CBC Kids News • Published 2020-10-07 18:18

Say goodbye to plastic straws, grocery bags and cutlery

It’s the last straw for single-use plastics.

Well, the last plastic straw, anyway.

On Oct. 7, the federal government announced the list of single-use plastics that will be banned in Canada beginning in 2021.

The announcement about the plastics ban fulfils a 2019 election campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party.

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh took to Twitter Wednesday to congratulate activists for pushing Trudeau’s government to “do the right thing.”

What is being banned?

Several provinces, communities, companies and stores have already done their part to reduce or ban single-use plastics.

But here’s what’s on the Canada-wide list:

What isn’t being banned?

When deciding which plastics to ban, the federal government said it looked at those plastics that are most harmful to the environment and difficult to recycle.

The government also considered which plastics already have alternatives available, such as paper bags or metal cutlery.

Here are some plastics that aren’t being banned in Canada:

Why ban single-use plastics?

Plastic waste can be harmful to the environment if it isn't managed properly.

Before the government could go ahead with the ban, it needed a report on the plastic problem.

That report, released in January, said that in 2016, 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage ended up as litter in Canada.

That would weigh the same as around 4,000 African bush elephants.

Animals like this whale shark can get hurt or die if they end up with plastics in their bodies. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The report also looked at the impact of macroplastics on our water and wildlife.

Macroplastics are plastic pieces that are bigger than five millimetres, which is about the size of a pencil eraser.

Animals have been found with macroplastics in their digestive systems, which can lead to harm or even death.

According to Canada’s Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, the research and information in the report was enough to allow the government to go ahead with the ban.


TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Philip Street/CBC

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