Government plans to ban single-use plastics

The new rules, which could come into effect as early as 2021, could make companies collect other plastic products.

Several companies have been making efforts to reduce the amount of plastic they use in response to consumer demand for more environmentally friendly options. Within a couple years, they may have to do so because it may become the law.

Announced today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the government intends to enact a ban on single-use plastics by early 2021.

The government has not yet said which products will be covered by the rules, with Trudeau saying it will research the items that should be banned, adding that it plans to follow the European Union’s model.

Earlier this year, the EU approved its law to ban single-use plastics by 2021, which covered items made of oxo-degradable plastics and polystyrene where viable alternatives made from other materials exist, such as cutlery, straws, cotton swab sticks and containers for fresh produce and take-out. For products where there is no alternative, such as plastic bottles and cigarette butts, the EU law has set aggressive reduction targets and placed the responsibility for collecting waste on manufacturers and the companies that sell them, something Trudeau said will be part of the Canadian rules.

Plastic bags, which were previously banned by a separate EU measure, were also singled out as a possible item that could be banned in Canada.

Currently, less than less 10% of plastic products in Canada get recycled, resulting in three million tonnes of plastic waste.

Research from Dalhousie University released last week showed that reducing single-use plastics is already having a significant impact on the way Canadians shop for products.