Canadian Packaging

List of single-use plastics to be banned in Canada by 2021

October 8, 2020   by To Do Canada

Canada is on track to ban some single-use plastics, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, has released the list of harmful single-use plastic items that will be banned by the end of 2021.

The list includes items that are often not recycled, and have readily available alternatives.

The six items the Government proposes to ban are

  • Grocery checkout bags
  • Straws
  • Stir sticks
  • Six-pack rings
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Food takeout containers made from hard-to-recycle plastics (like black plastic packaging)

In Canada, single-use plastics make up most of plastic litter that is found in freshwater environments and up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year and close to 57 million straws are used daily.

Preliminary list of products that may be environmentally or value-recovery problematic:
Environment and Climate Change Canada has conducted an analysis of available data to determine which items meet the requirements for a proposed ban or restriction. ECCC has then identified items to provide a preliminary list of products that may be environmentally or value-recovery problematic. These include:

  • bags, including:
    • checkout bags
    • produce and bulk food barrier bags
    • garbage bags, and
    • dry cleaning bags
  • packaging not necessary for the protection of food or goods, including:
    • multi-packaging
    • produce stickers, and
    • some films
  • cosmetic and personal care products and packaging, including:
    • cotton swab sticks
    • flushable wipes, and
    • disposable personal care items
  • plastic packaging used in aquaculture and coastal industries (for example, strapping bands)
  • food packaging, including:
    • beverage bottles and caps
    • snack food wrappers, and
    • some films
  • food packaging and service ware (for example, takeout containers and lids, plates, bowls and cups) made from problematic plastics, including:
    • foamed plastics
    • black plastic
    • polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
    • oxo-degradable plastic, or
    • multiple (composite) materials including one or more plastics
  • coffee pods
  • plastics used in medical applications, including personal protective equipment such as:
    • masks
    • gowns, and
    • gloves
  • cigarette filters
  • contact lenses and packaging
  • food service ware, including:
    • hot and cold drink cups and lids
    • straws
    • stir sticks
    • cutlery, and
    • condiment portion cups and sachets

From a detailed analysis, the agency identified 6 plastic items (plastic checkout bags, stir sticks, 6-pack rings, cutlery, straws, food service ware made from problematic plastics) that meet the requirements of a ban or a restriction. For other single-use plastics, the agency says currently available data on the use, management and prevalence in the environment do not support a recommendation for a ban or a restriction at this time.

More Information is available here.


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