Canadians will need to find alternatives for plastic straws and grocery bags by the end of the year as the federal government puts the final motions in place to ban some single-use plastics. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and a number of other ministers and Liberal MPs will lay out the plastics ban in a series of events across the country. Guilbeault is also expected to discuss plans to mandate a minimum amount of recycled content in other plastic items as the government seeks to create a bigger market for recycled plastic in Canada.
The draft regulations to ban six plastic items were published in December and the government has to have at least a six-month long phase-in period once the final regulations are published this month. Only six specific manufactured plastic items will be affected by the initial ban, after the government determined they were hard to recycle but have easy alternatives.
They include straws, takeout containers, grocery bags, cutlery, stir sticks and plastic rings used to hold six cans or bottles together. The move comes almost three years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first promised that his government would phase out the production and use of hard-to-recycle plastic items as it aims for zero plastic waste by the end of the decade.