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Canada Aims to Ban Single-Use Plastics

11 June 2019

Canada may require manufacturers to use a set amount of recycled content, the statement said.

Nova Chemicals Corp. supports efforts to encourage more recycling of plastics, including the plan announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, said John Thayer, senior vice-president of polyethylene for the company which operates large petrochemical complexes in Alberta and Ontario.

The war on plastic has becoming increasingly important to world governments and leaders, with many saying urgent work needs to be done to stop plastic pollution.

"Canadians are exhausted of seeing our beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste", Trudeau said over Twitter.

More than 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are annually injured or die when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled in the substance, the Canadian government said. "And to be honest, as a dad it is tough trying to explain this to my kids", Mr Trudeau said.

In April, a carcass of a pregnant sperm whale washed up in Italy with 22 kilograms (49 pounds) of plastic in its stomach. "Against all odds, you will find plastic at the very deepest point of the Pacific Ocean".

Canada's ban on items such as plastic bags and straws will be aligned with similar measures that the European Union and other countries have adopted, the government said.

Several cities in Canada already have bans on plastic bags in place.

Malaysia similarly said it would return 3,000 tons of plastic waste from Canada, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The official said Trudeau's government is looking at what the European Union did and drawing inspiration from their model.

The EU's measure would affect a range of plastic products for which reasonable alternatives exist, from straws to earbuds, starting in 2021.

The law will not come into effect until late this year or early 2020. China's decision to no longer import some of the EU's waste helped spur the plastics ban.

Wood Mackenzie is forecasting four per cent annual growth in global plastics demand over the next five years, driven by rising consumer standards of living in Asia, with the rate falling to less than GDP growth after 2028, he said.

Several Canadian cities already ban the use of plastic bags, Montreal passed its ban a year ago, and some provinces have banned other products.

But Trudeau said a "national solution" was needed.

He tweeted that Canadians throw away 15 billion plastic bags a year and 57 million straws every day. "This represents up to $8 billion per year in lost value and wastes valuable resources and energy".

The federal government has yet to release a full list of the items that will be banned.

In May, the Philippines shipped 69 containers of garbage back to Canada.

Canada Aims to Ban Single-Use Plastics