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Canada’s Single-Use Plastic Ban Is Now In Effect — Here’s What That Means For You

Say goodbye to plastic straws!

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Person holding plastic bag filled with fruit. Right: A pile of plastic cutlery.

Person holding plastic bag filled with fruit. Right: A pile of plastic cutlery.

In June, the federal government announced its plans to move forward with a ban on single-use plastic across Canada as part of the country's "ongoing comprehensive agenda to address plastic waste and pollution," and as of December 20, 2022, a ban on the manufacturing and importing of single-use plastic products for sale in Canada is now in effect.

The Government of Canada identified six categories of single-use plastic that are now completely banned across the country — a list that includes plastic bags, cutlery, certain food containers, ring carriers (used to hold cans or bottles), stir sticks and straws.

(These are the only plastic items that are now affected by the ban. For those of you who are fans of snap-lock bags or sealing everything with plastic wrap, don't fret, as those are still available for purchase in Canada for the time being.)

These items haven't just vanished — while the ban is now fully in effect, Canada is giving businesses an entire year to deplete their stocks. Therefore, getting your hands on the mentioned single-use plastic items will no longer be possible as of December 2023.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said that the plan is expected to reduce "over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution."

So, while you might not love paper straws and bags or wooden utensils, you better get used to 'em 'cause single-use plastics are a thing of the past!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Mike Chaar
    Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
    Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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