Canada pledges to eliminate single-use plastics: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including Ottawa's proposed ban on single-use plastics and a lawsuit over breast-implant risks.

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

The federal government has pledged to eliminate single-use plastics — which could include straws, bags and cutlery — as early as 2021 to curb public waste in Canada. (Patrick Pleul/AFP/Getty Images)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Plans to ban single-use plastics

You may not be able to buy plastic bags, straws or cutlery for much longer. The federal government announced a plan to ban single-use plastics in Canada as early as 2021. The prime minister said the government is still researching what items it should ban and will follow the model chosen by the European Union. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told CBC News that changes were coming earlier this year when we showed her what you picked as the most overpackaged plastic products.

Watch the Marketplace story on over-packaged products: 

Woman suing breast implant manufacturers

A B.C. woman says she wasn't told about the risks associated with breast implants before she received them.

Four years later, she had them removed because she says they were making her sick. Last year, we investigated how breast implants are marketed by plastic surgeons, and followed a woman getting her implants removed for similar reasons.

Watch the hidden camera investigation on breast implants: 

MEC products pulled over 'pink tax'

Have you noticed women's products priced higher than the men's version of the same items?

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has pulled two items from its online store after customers complained about the so-called "pink tax." The men's version of the product was listed for $30, while the women's product was listed for $35 — although the only difference appeared to be the colour scheme.

The retailer told CBC News it is obliged to comply with its vendors' pricing when they have a policy in place about the minimum advertised price.

The men's version of the product was advertised for $30 — some $5 cheaper than the women's line. (MEC)
The women's version of the product was listed for $35, although the only difference in the online store appeared to be the colour scheme. (MEC)

Unlimited data plans from Rogers and Bell — with a catch

Canada's two largest telecoms are now offering "unlimited" cellphone data plans with no overage fees.

Sound too good to be true?

Both Rogers and Bell are offering the service at $75 a month and customers will experience slower speeds once 10 gigabytes have been used. Unlimited plans have already been available from regional competitors like SaskTel and Freedom Mobile.

Bell Mobility matched a cellphone data plan offered by its competitor Rogers on Wednesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Health Canada pulls 2 sunscreen products from Goop's store

Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle and wellness business opened its first Canadian location this week, but two of its products have already been removed from shelves. Goop says the problem was due to packaging for two of its sunscreens.

Health Canada's rules on sunscreen say products cannot be called "sunblock" because nothing completely blocks the sun. But thanks to a loophole in Health Canada regulations, Goop can still sell products on its website that aren't permitted for sale in its shop.

When Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in Canada last week, federal health inspectors were among the first to file in. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for goop)

What else is going on?

Tim Hortons strikes a deal with Beyond Meat to offer plant-based breakfast sandwiches. The chain will offer three varieties of the meatless patty as the market for such products has doubled in the last few years.

A poll of 25,229 Canadian internet users finds 90 per cent of Canadians have fallen for fake news. Many listed Facebook as the most common source of misleading reports.

A new study says when battling high blood cholesterol, white meat is no better than red meat. Researchers followed 113 people on controlled diets, but some nutritionists are skeptical about the results.

The latest in recalls

The following recalls have been issued by Health Canada:

These raspberry products sold in Quebec could be contaminated with norovirus; these AmazonBasics 1500 Watt Ceramic Space Heaters could pose a burn and fire hazard potentially leading to injury or property damage; this Matrix Vavoom Freezing Spray in 312 g (11 oz) format does not have mandatory hazard labelling.

Credit score confusion?

You can get your credit score for free, or you can pay for it. The information used to be a secret, but now it's widely available. Marketplace wants to hear about your experiences with credit score services.

Contact if you have a story you think we should know about.

What should we investigate next?

Our television season has wrapped, but you can catch up on previous Marketplace investigations on CBC Gem. From scams, misleading marketing claims, to products and services that could put your health at risk, we are working on bringing you brand new investigations this fall. If you have a story you think we should be covering, email us at

-The Marketplace team


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