The Canadian government has announced the ban of manufacturing or importing single-use plastic products by December 2022, as part of the government’s efforts to combat plastic waste and address climate change.
According to the National Post, in 2019, 15.5 billion plastic grocery bags, 4.5 billion pieces of plastic cutlery, three billion stir sticks, 5.8 billion straws, 183 million six-pack rings, and 805 million takeout containers were sold in Canada.
Last week the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, and the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, announced final regulations to prohibit the following single-use plastics (SUPs):
- Checkout bags;
- Foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics that are hard to recycle;
- Ring carriers;
- Stir sticks; and
- Straws (with some exceptions)
The ban on manufacturing and importing these harmful single-use plastics will be effective December 2022, but the ban on selling them will come into effect as of December 2023. This will provide Canadian businesses sufficient time to transition and deplete their existing SUP stocks.
The government will also prohibit the export the above SUP categories by the end of 2025, making Canada the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally.
Exceptions to the ban on straws allow single-use plastic flexible straws to remain available for people in Canada who require them for medical or accessibility reasons. This includes for use at home, in social settings, or in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and long‑term care facilities. All other types of single-use plastic straws will be prohibited.
Moreover, prohibitions on the manufacture and import of ring carriers and flexible straws packaged with beverage containers (e.g., juice boxes) will come into force in June 2023, and the prohibition on the sale of these items will come into force in June 2024. These transition timelines recognize the complexity associated with retooling manufacturing lines for these products.
For more details, please refer to Single-use Plastics Prohibitions Regulations Technical Guidelines – Canada.ca