Globally, about half of annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product, and as much as 38% of plastic packaging winds up flowing into the ocean. As a result, there are few coastlines in the world where plastic pollution isn’t washing ashore, and people are taking notice.
The movement against single-use plastic has been picking up steam in recent years and governments are taking notice. Last year, New Zealand moved to ban single-use plastic bags. Earlier this year, New York City banned plastic foam containers. And now, Canada is looking to ban single-use plastics entirely by 2021.
Canada’s move mirrors a similar plan to ban single-use plastic by 2021 in the European Union, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leading the charge.
“Canadians are tired of seeing our beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet. “As parents we’re at a point when 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. That’s a problem, one that we have to do something about.”
“Many other countries are doing that and Canada will be one of them,” Trudeau said. “This is a big step but we know can do this for 2021.”
Trudeau noted that not only are single-use plastics harmful to the environment, but they waste a large amount of money. Around $8 billion worth of single-use plastics are thrown away each year.
The Canadian government will undergo a scientific analysis that will help determine which types of single-use plastic will be banned. The European Union’s ban encompasses 10 items, including plastic cutlery and plates.
Here at tentree, we’re incredibly encouraged by this decision and are proud of the work Canada is doing to reduce plastic pollution.