Words by Smiley Team
We're all very aware how bad plastic is for the environment – and how much of it there is in our world.
In fact, it’s estimated that more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year, equivalent to the weight of the entire human population, according to the UN Environment Progamme.
To combat this ongoing crisis, Canada is banning the manufacture and import of single-use plastics by the end of the year.
“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,” a statement from the government read.
“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.”
Single-use plastics make up most of the plastic waste found on Canadian shorelines. Up to 15 billion plastic checkout bags are used each year and approximately 16 million straws are used every day.
“By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics,” said Steven Guilbeault, the federal minister of environment and climate change. “After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or reusable bags.”
Sarah King, head of Greenpeace Canada’s oceans and plastics campaign, said in a statement that Canada’s ban is a step forward – and there's still more that can be done.
DONATE: Organizations like Greenpeace Canada are working to lower pollution everywhere.
SUPPORT: Local organizations are always holding cleanup events. If you need help starting take a look here.