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Canada takes first step toward regulatory action to address plastic pollution

plastic waste ocean pollution

Environmental groups applaud Canada's decision to list "plastic manufactured items" on Schedule 1 under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and urge the federal government to move quickly to finalize a meaningful ban on non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021. 

This action gives the federal government the authority to regulate plastic products to keep them out of incinerators, landfills and the environment, including a national ban on single-use plastic items, such as checkout bags, take-out containers, straws, stirrers, cutlery and six-pack rings. 

The listing is a critical step in Canada's plan to address the growing plastic pollution crisis, enabling regulations that would reduce unnecessary plastic use, and support a non-toxic, low-carbon circular economy.
 
Plastic pollution has been identified by the United Nations as the second most ominous threat to the global environment after climate change. Every year, more than three million tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away in Canada, with 91 percent ending up in landfills, incinerators or directly in the natural environment.
 
Canada has an opportunity to join other global leaders in the fight to end the plastic disaster. Many countries around the world have already banned certain single-use plastic items and 170 countries have pledged to significantly reduce plastic use by 2030. The European Union's single-use plastic ban will be in force this summer.