On December 21, 2021, the Government of Canada announced a draft regulation to prohibit the manufacture, import, and sale of single-use plastic checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws within the country. The six products were picked after a government analysis in 2020. The ban on manufacture and import of these products would go into effect before the prohibition of sale to allow businesses to deplete their stock. Canada would like to “bring the bans into force as quickly as possible and as early as late 2022.” Canada’s single-use plastics ban is open for public consultation until March 5, 2022.
The Canadian government originally announced the idea in 2020 when it released a plan to achieve zero plastic waste (FPF reported). At the same time, Health Canada published an assessment that confirmed “plastic pollution is everywhere in the environment, including on shorelines, in surface waters, sediment, soil, groundwater, indoor and outdoor air, drinking water, and food, and that it is negatively impacting [the Canadian] environment.” Canada estimates that the plastics ban “would prevent more than 23,000 tonnes of plastic pollution from entering the environment over a ten-year period.”
As part of its environmental commitments, Canada is also working on an extended producer responsibility scheme across the country, something individual provinces are already undertaking (FPF reported).
The English Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is considering a similar ban on single-use plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks, and polystyrene food and drink containers. The English ban is open for public comment until February 12, 2022. Defra has also opened a call for evidence on commonly littered single-use plastic items.
Government of Canada (December 21, 2021). “Government of Canada moving forward with banning harmful single-use plastics.”
Defra (November 30, 2021). “Plans unveiled to ban single-use plastics.”