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Single-use plastics ban not expected to hurt petrochemical growth in Canada

11 June 2019

Trudeau announced the move from the banks of a lake in Gault Nature Reserve in Quebec less than five months before a national election in which climate change and pollution are among the top campaign issues.

Trudeau said the government will research the question of which items it should ban and follow the model chosen by the European Union, which voted in March to ban plastic items for which market alternatives exist-such as single-use plastic cutlery and plates-and items made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags.

Mr Trudeau said producers of other plastics, such as bottles or food packaging, will be held responsible for "the entire life-cycle" of their products and will have to provide recycling plans. "How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches around the world, their stomachs jam-packed with plastic bags?"

"As parents, we're at a point where 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", he said.

He said the situation of plastic overflowing in landfills and polluting oceans and waterways has reached a breaking point, and action is needed.

In Canada, less than 10 per cent of used plastics are recycled and, unless they change their habits, Canadians will throw out $11 billion worth of plastic products by 2030. "That's a problem, one that we have to do something about".

At the last G7 summit, Canada and four other leading economies signed a charter pledging that by 2040 all plastic produced in their countries would be reused, recycled or burned to produce energy.

It will also give businesses time to adjust.

"I recycle. But I want more choices (of non-plastic products) and the emphasis should be put on the manufacturer", Mr Fracassi said. The country now recycles less than 10 percent of the plastic it uses.

Environmental campaigners on Monday welcomed the Canadian government's new plan to ban certain single-use plastics as early as 2021 and work with provinces and territories to make corporations responsible for their plastic waste.

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

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

Single-use plastics ban not expected to hurt petrochemical growth in Canada