CANADA – The government of Canada has revealed plans to ban companies from importing or making plastic bags and takeout containers by the end of 2022, from selling them by the end of 2023 and from exporting them by the end of 2025.

The legislation, titled the “Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations,” will outlaw the manufacture, import and sale of six categories of single-use plastics: checkout bags, cutlery, food service made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws.

The ban on the manufacture and import of those six types of items will begin in December 2022, and the ban on sale a year later.

By 2025, Canada will also ban export, making it “the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally,” according to the government announcement.

“Only 8% of the plastic gets recycled and 43,000 metric tons of single-use plastics enter the environment every year, mostly in waterways.”

Jean-Yves Duclos, Federal Health Minister


Exceptions in the regulations ensure single-use plastic flexible straws remain available in stores and health care facilities, under certain conditions, for people who need them.

The regulations also contain some notable exceptions compared to other single-use plastics regulations, such as the EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive.

Canadian retailers will be allowed to sell single-use plastic flexible straws if it is packaged alongside a beverage container and as long as the packaging is done off-premises.

They’ll also be permitted to sell packages of 20 single-use straws, provided they are kept out of customer view.

Also, absent from the new regulations are bans on plastic packaging for consumer goods – the leading source of plastic waste globally.

Plastic waste has proved to be a crisis in the North American country. According to a research study published by Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2019, 3.3 million tons of plastic were thrown out, almost half of its plastic packaging.

Only 8% of the plastic gets recycled and 43,000 metric tons of single-use plastics enter the environment every year, mostly in waterways according to Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.

To further reduce the number of plastics discarded to the environment, “the government is open to adding more items to the list one day but is targeting the ones that were most common and easiest to replace first,” said Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

The Liberal government is targeting 2030 to eliminate all plastic waste from ending up in landfills or as litter on beaches, rivers, wetlands and forests.

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