Canada recycles only 9% of its plastics, the rest going into the landfills. This came out in the report, called the Economic Study of the Canadian Plastic Industry, Markets and Waste. This figure came along with the statistic that the total amount of plastics consumed in Canada in 2016 was 4.6 million metric tonnes.
Following this shocking report, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, made the announcement that as early as 2021 Canada could ban single use plastics. Trudeau announced the ban next to a lake at the the Gault Nature Reserve in Mont St-Hilaire, outside of Montreal. “People have had enough of seeing their parks and beaches covered with plastic,” he said. “As parents we’re at a point when we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn’t littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles. That’s a problem, one that we have to do something about.”
Canada isn’t the only place planning to ban single-use plastics, as many other countries, states and cities are moving in a similar direction. In March, New York State announced a plan to ban single-use plastic bags for retail sales. This followed plans proposed in California and Hawaii. Canada alone throws away more than 34 million plastic bags each day, according to the national environmental agency, Environment. The government said it would undertake scientific analysis before determining which plastic products to ban as early as 2021. Many expect Canada to follow in the steps on the European Union, which voted in March to ban 10 single-use plastics, including plastic cutlery, plates and cotton-swab sticks.t and Climate Change Canada. It can take 500 (or more) years for one plastic bag to break down, so even this small change could help the pollution level.