Single-use plastic banned in Canada

Every year, Canadians throw away 3 million tonnes of plastic waste of which only 9% is recycled. This data is terrifying, especially following all the damage this has been doing to the environment.

The good news is that Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson decided some single-use plastics should be banned and will be finalized by the end of 2021.

What is been announced to be banned first:

  1. Grocery checkout bags
  2. Straws
  3. Stir sticks
  4. Six-pack rings
  5. Plastic cutlery
  6. Food takeout containers made from hard-to-recycle plastics (like black plastic packaging)

According to Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, 3 keys characteristics decided to do that:

  1. They are things that are harmful to the environment
  2. They are things that are difficult or costly to recycle
  3. There are readily available and affordable alternatives

Alternatives to single-use plastics include single-use biodegradable items such as paper straws, reed straws, sugar cane or paper take-out containers, paper bags, paper cutleries, and much more.

The science and studies though suggest more utensils that should be banned:

  • Plastics that are unnecessary or that have substitutes: plastic stirrers, plates, bowls, trays, cutlery, cotton swabs, balloon sticks, lightweight plastic bags, and plastic beverage containers without tethered caps and lids.
  • Plastics that are made of or contain harmful chemicals, including polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC): these plastics can leech into human bodies or the environment = harmful to human health & the environment + Not recycled.
  • Plastics that are not recyclable or cannot be recycled by local recycling programs including black plastics and plastic packaging made of mixed materials (e.g. stand-up pouches).
  • Oxo-degradable plastics: these plastics have been marketed as biodegradable but only break down into small pieces and cause more harm to the environment. (e.g. LDPE #4 / PP #5 / PS #6 ).
  • Compostable plastics: plastics that are compostable only in industrial composting facilities but are not accepted by Canadian municipalities.

However, they are not on the list yet.

If you are a restaurant manager/owner it’s time to start acquiring and using biodegradable alternatives for your business. “Straws and Stuff” has a complete portfolio to help you.

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