Earlier this month, prime minister Justin Trudeau vowed that the Liberal government would ban most single-use plastic products in Canada by 2021. Though, according to the CBC, the government hadn't disclosed a definitive list of items the ban would cover, the decision was met with praise from many environmentalists.
When asked about his own consumption of single-use plastic, however, the prime minister stumbled, awkwardly sharing that “we, uh uh have, uh, recently switched to drinking, uh, water bottles out of water out of, uh, when we have water bottles, uh, out of, uh, plastic, uh, sorry, away from plastic towards, uh, paper, um, like drink box water bottles sort of things."
Today, a photo posted to Trudeau's official Twitter page apears to prove that the prime minister continues to use single-use plastic despite his criticism of its environmental effects.
In the photo, in which the prime minister engages in a discussion with the Papineau Youth Council over a pizza lunch, plastic forks are clearly visible on the table.
Always great to be back in my riding! I had a good meeting with the Papineau Youth Council today. Thanks for your i… https://t.co/mBomU9krxf— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1561409111.0
The circumstances of the photo, however, are not entirely clear. There is no confirmation that Trudeau, himself, made use of the plastic forks. But Twitter users were quick to lambaste the prime minister for his involvement with a product he had promised to ban.
Many have called his use of plastic forks "hypocritical." To others, his greatest crime is using cutlery to eat pizza.
Stop attacking Justin Trudeau about single use plastic. Such rules are intended for us. Not for him. #cdnpoli— schnurmacher (@schnurmacher)1561468641.0
@JustinTrudeau single use cutlery ✔ single use plates ✔ single use prime minister ✔— Mike Semeniuk (@Mike Semeniuk)1561418586.0
@JustinTrudeau I have two major problems with Trudeau's publicity photo: 1. The pile of plastic forks and knives (… https://t.co/p1vQxVue9C— David Jacobs (@David Jacobs)1561416317.0
Several users have raised the good point, though, that individual consumption of single-use plastic is negligible and, without a government-mandated ban, difficult to avoid.
"Systematic problems prevent meaningful individual action," wrote one Twitter user.
So many thoughts... 1) The plastic ban is not THE solution, but it is one of many, 2) Let’s not forget that we as i… https://t.co/ymaN2Xp0z2— fully vaxxed Sar (@fully vaxxed Sar)1561486186.0
Still, Trudeau's use of single-use forks and plates does seem to contradict the spirit of an earlier statement from his office about the forthcoming ban.
"Plastic pollution is a global challenge that requires immediate action. Plastic waste ends up in our landfills and incinerators, litters our parks and beaches, and pollutes our rivers, lakes, and oceans, entangling and killing turtles, fish, and marine mammals," the prime minister's office wrote in a press release on June 10th.
For more reactions to Trudeau's use of single-use plastic, refer to coverage by CTV here.
Stay tuned for more news about the ban on single-use plastic in Canada.