Trudeau says Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

Plastics

Plastics

The prime minister spoke about the plan in a speech Monday at the Gault Nature Reserve in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, outside Montreal.

"To be honest, as a dad, it's tough trying to explain this to my kids".

Canada's move follows one by the European Parliament, which voted earlier this year to ban several single-use plastic products, and recent disputes with the Philippines and Malaysia over Canadian waste shipped to them.

"How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches across the world, their stomachs jam packed with plastic bags?"

Less than 10 per cent of plastics used in Canada are recycled, he said.

Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

Trudeau says the situation of plastic overflowing in landfills and polluting oceans and waterways has reached a breaking point, and action is needed.

"As parents, we're at a point where 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", he said. "Acting now to ban the most problematic and unnecessary plastics while holding corporations accountable for the waste problem they have created can set us on a better course".

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During the last G7 summit, Canada and four other major economies signed a charter calling for full recycling and re-use of plastic products, or burning those products as fuel.

It will also give businesses time to adjust.

Canada may require manufacturers to use a set amount of recycled content, the statement said.

The Canadian government has yet to decide which single-use plastic products will be included on the list but it could target plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks. Apparently he has also "revealed intentions" to make companies take responsibility for the plastic waste generated by their products.

China banned the import of plastic waste a year ago, causing other Southeast Asian nations to become new destinations.

The United States and Japan did not join the pact.

"The issue of plastic pollution will increasingly be seen as an issue for developing countries that feel they are being dumped with waste from rich countries that should be taking care of their own waste internally", said Sara Seck, a Dalhousie University law professor.

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