The Government of Canada has made considerable progress in regard to their Zero Plastic Waste by 2030 initiative. A plethora of plastic products will be strictly prohibited in 2023.
Quinte Waste Solutions has an impressive capture rate of an estimated 96% of recyclables being repurposed. However, a vast amount of plastics across other Canadian regions and industries are not being processed and recycled at a high enough rate. Despite our efforts as a country, plastic waste continues to cause problems.
According to the Government of Canada’s website, almost 30,000 tonnes of plastics end up in Canadian environments every year. Even more shocking is an annual count of 3 million tonnes of plastic waste that is disposed of across Canada.
Since the 2030 initiative was announced in 2020, The Canadian Government has made a point to mention how harmful the use of plastic is to our wildlife, public health, and most pertinently our environment.
With this, in 2021 The Minister of Environment & Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, determined that the sale of a specific list of plastic goods will be banned starting December 1, 2023. This list includes the sale of the following products:
- Checkout bags
- Foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics
- Ring carriers
- Stir sticks
- Straws (with some exceptions)
Another important piece of information from the 2020 announcement pertains to Canadian manufacturers. The Government made a splash internationally; being the first country to ban the exportation of the mentioned plastics. There is no official date yet. However, this change is expected to come into effect by late 2025.
On a more positive note, municipalities across Canada continue to address our plastic problems. On a local scale, residents and small businesses consistently recycle plastic materials to be repurposed again and again. It is hard to imagine a world without plastic. For now, some plastic products are imperative to medical sanitation and various other necessary products. The key focus should be to limit the production and use of single-use plastic materials. This process starts in our homes.
What does this mean for Canadians?
An important and justified commentary from Canadian businesses and residents has contended; what alternatives will we have as Canadians? The Canadian government’s website states:
“We can reduce 1.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year and create approximately 42,000 jobs across the country.”
This suggests that Canada will continue to develop its manufacturing sectors to appropriately address the need for plastic alternatives.
So, you are probably wondering, how will this affect my curbside recycling program? Simply put, some of the aforementioned plastic products that will be banned, will no longer be recyclable. This is because there will no longer be a market to repurpose these plastics in Canada. However, efforts are being made to find new markets. It will be a cardinal focus to find new ways to reuse the remaining plastics that will be left over in our households and businesses. More information regarding this will be provided soon.
So, how do you feel about the plan for Zero Plastic Waste by 2030? Let us know on social media. Questions and comments are always welcome.
SOURCE: Environment and Climate Change Canada