Canada delivers on commitment to ban harmful single-use plastics

Environment and Climate Change Canada

No one wants to see plastic litter in their local park or hiking trail, or on the shoreline where their kids play. That’s why the Government of Canada has moved forward a comprehensive plan to ban harmful single-use plastics and keep them out of the environment. Today, after working with Canadians and stakeholders alike to design the ban, the Government is taking the final step to deliver on this commitment.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, and the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, today published final regulations to prohibit single-use plastics including:

  • checkout bags;
  • cutlery;
  • foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics that are hard to recycle;
  • ring carriers;
  • stir sticks; and
  • straws (with some exceptions).

The ban on the manufacture and import of these harmful single-use plastics, barring a few targeted exceptions to recognize specific cases, will come into effect in December 2022. To provide businesses in Canada with enough time to transition and to deplete their existing stocks, the sale of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023. The Government will also prohibit the export of plastics in the six categories by the end of 2025, making Canada the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally.

Over the next decade, this world-leading ban on harmful single-use plastics will result in the estimated elimination of over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution, which is equivalent to over a million garbage bags full of litter.

Canada remains steadfast in its commitments to demonstrate leadership and take strong action to reduce plastic pollution, protect biodiversity, and promote a healthy environment here at home and around the world.

This measure is an important contribution to Canada’s ongoing comprehensive agenda to address plastic waste and pollution. This measure puts Canada among world leaders in fighting plastic pollution and will help to meet the commitments of the Ocean Plastics Charter and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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