Environment

Canada Announces Ban on Certain Single-Use Plastics

The ban follows similar policies from the European Union and several states.


The Canadian government has announced plans to ban most single-use plastics in the coming years.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new policy, saying it was personal to him as a father.

"People have had enough of seeing their parks and beaches covered with plastic," Trudeau said. "As parents we're at a point when we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn't littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the ban on many single-use plastics.

Canada follows the lead of the European Union, which voted earlier this year to ban 10 types of single-use plastics. In the United States, California, Hawaii and New York have all announced plans to ban plastic bags and other materials.

According to the New York Times, the Canadian government said it would undertake scientific analysis before determining which plastic products to ban as early as 2021 .

The policy of banning single-use plastics is more than symbolic--experts say it is a necessary step as the world's plastic problem has grown out of control. The World Economic Forum estimates that there are 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic on Earth (the equivalent of 25,000 Empire State Buildings), 6.3 billion metric tons of which have been disposed of as waste. Every year, 8 million tons of plastic reach the oceans--that's equal to a full garbage truckload each minute .

Corporations have also started to take action on the plastics issue. Last month, Kroger (the largest grocery chain in the United States) announced that it would phase out plastic bags by the year 2025. A Giant Eagle spokesman told Sparkt the company is studying the issue and expects to have an announcement about what their chain will do about single-use bags sometime in August, and that Giant Eagle remains committed to sustainability .

In Pennsylvania, there are several bills in the State House, under the umbrella title of "Zero Waste PA," that would ban plastic bags, straws, styrofoam cups and containers in restaurants, and take other environmental protection actions.

If you want to share your thoughts about the proposed plastic bans in Pennsylvania, you can click here to find and contact your representative .

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