Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that he will be working with governments and businesses across the country to ban harmful single-use plastics by 2021.
These include plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks.
He said that the country will also work with provinces and territories to introduce standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging, so they become responsible for their plastic waste.
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These moves follow the fact that less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and without change, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion (£8.6 billion) worth of plastic materials annually by 2030.
The new measures will be grounded in scientific evidence and will align, where appropriate, with similar actions being taken by the EU and other destinations.
They will also support the Canadian Council of Minister of the Environment’s development of an action plan to introduce the Canada-wide strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.
By improving how Canada manages its plastic waste and investing in innovative solutions, the Government believes it can reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution, generate billions of dollars in revenue and create approximately 42,000 jobs.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste. We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come.”