On 10 June Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau stated that Canada will ban single-use plastic, potentially from 2021. The scourge against plastic is certainly not abating as another major player on the global scene has made a significant statement of intent.
The Guardian have suggested that Trudeau is mimicking the response demonstrated earlier in the year from the European parliament, which made similar wide-reaching statements on ditching plastic. His reasoning for doing so: “To be honest, as a dad, it’s tough trying to explain this to my kids. How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches around the world, their stomachs jam-packed with plastic bags?” Trudeau said.
Currently less than 10% of plastic in Canada gets recycled and the government has suggested that around a million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals are affected by plastic that ends up in our oceans, whether that means the animals eventually die or are injured.
The EU’s move has legislated that 90% of plastic bottles must be recycled by 2025, among other seemingly ambitious goals. This does come at a cost though; it is estimated that it will require between €259-695 a year. It is not entirely clear yet how much it will cost Canada.
However, importantly, the products that will replace plastic, will have to have a less damaging impact on the planet – something that will arguably be harder to achieve on such a scale.