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Canada Will Officially Ban 6 Single-Use Plastic Items — Sorry Plastic Straw Lovers!

Plastic straws will still be allowed for medical and accessibility reasons.

Senior Editor
Overflowing garbage bin in the Montreal Old Port. Right: plastic bag in a tree.

Overflowing garbage bin in the Montreal Old Port. Right: plastic bag in a tree.

The Government of Canada announced a timeline to ban many single-use plastics nationwide. Targeted products include plastic checkout bags, cutlery, stir sticks, plastic rings for carrying beverage bottles, difficult-to-recycle containers for serving food, and straws, with exceptions for medical and accessibility reasons.

A ban on the manufacture and importation of many of these plastics will take effect in December 2022. A ban on their sale will take effect a year later, in December 2023, to give retailers time to empty their stocks, the government said.

Plastic rings around beverages and straws attached to juice boxes will stick around a bit longer, until June 2023 for manufacture and importation and June 2024 for sales, to allow companies to transition their manufacturing lines.

Finally, a ban on the exportation of targeted single-use plastics — the first of its kind in the world — will enter force "by the end of 2025."

"We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics. Today, that’s exactly what we've done," Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault said in a press release.

He called the measures "a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution and keeping our communities and the places we love clean."

The government estimates that the ban will eliminate over 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution in the next 10 years. It also pointed to Canadians' use of over 16 million straws every day.

"We are focused on protecting the health of those who live in Canada while improving our environment," Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos added.

"We know that plastic pollution can be found in outdoor air, food and drinking water, so by addressing this, we will improve health outcomes for all Canadians."

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