MOUNT-SAINT-HILAIRE, QUE. — The government of Canada will ban certain harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021 where supported by scientific evidence and warranted, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said June 10. The single-use plastic items include plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks.

The government also will work with provinces and territories to introduce standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging. Through improving the management of plastic waste and investing in solutions, Canada could reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution, generate billions of dollars in revenue and create about 42,000 jobs, according to the government.

Every year Canadians throw away over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, according to the government. About one-third of the plastics used in Canada are for single-use products or short-lived products and packaging. Globally every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals are injured or die when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled.

“Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets and shorelines littered with plastic waste,” Mr. Trudeau said. “We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come.”

The European Union acted on single-use plastics earlier this year. The European Parliament in March approved a new law banning single-use plastic items, including plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds sticks, in the European Union by 2021. FBN