Call for attention: Supporting Single-Use Plastic Ban

GANIMAT KAUR, ESMERALDA PENATE, KI YOUNG LEE

The Government of Canada announced a single-use plastic ban by October 7, 2021. The ban aims to protect wildlife and achieve a zero-waste future and focuses on eliminating the use of plastic products.

Canadians are witnessing the impact of pollution from coast to coast. Plastic disposables end up in lakes and oceans, affecting the wildlife by releasing chemical waste. The ban will reduce the demand for plastic products and replace them with friendly alternatives, especially for food packaging. 

Here’s a list of plastic products being banned:

  • Grocery bags
  • Straws
  • Stir sticks
  • Six-pack rings
  • Take-out containers

These plastic products not being banned:

  • Non-grocery store bags
  • Water bottles
  • Food packaging 
  • Plastic cups and lids
  • Plastic masks 

 A statement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concerning protecting our environment on Oct. 7, 2020. (Source- Waste 360)

The companies producing plastic products are advised to take full responsibility for managing the life process of the product manufactured. The Extended Producer Responsibility program (EPR) focuses on end-of-life management by the manufacturers by adding the cost to the factors of production or passing on the consumers.

Microplastics pose a threat to sea animals and the environment. the ingestion of microplastics results in the early death of animals such as seals. The majority of plastic comes from land sources like bottles, bags and containers. The estimated number of microplastic found in the oceans is 15 to 51 trillion, including 25 trillion macro and 51 trillion microplastic pieces.

Restaurant owners in Canada are ready to take an initiative to combat the single-use of plastic. They demand some time to adapt to the ban because the change is drastic to implement in just a year. The pandemic has not helped with adaptation with the rising need for online food delivery services and take-out containers, plastic cups, and plastic utensils that go with it. 

“To say how it’s going to impact business or what we’re going to do, I don’t think it’s going to impact business at all. The forks we use are made from recycled plastic, so we don’t use the regular plastic forks. The question is, will the ban also apply to recycled plastic,” says Justin Gladman, Field Leader at Chipotle.

Newfoundland and Labrador becomes second province to ban plastic bags (Steven Depolo / Flickr)


COVID-19 restrictions have caused an increase in the use of plastic cutlery due to an increase in food take-outs and busy drive-thrus. Many restaurants in Canada switched to paper bags and paper straws in previous initiatives. But there are more alarming concerns for the future. 

To voice your support for a single-use plastic ban, you can sign a petition here.

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