Ottawa announced by 2025 the country will phase out some single-use plastics, but finding sustainable alternatives is proving difficult. The ban targets six categories of plastics in an effort by the Liberal government to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. In 2016, a study released by Environment and Climate Change Canada said Canadians threw away three million tonnes of plastic waste. And only 9 per cent of that number were recycled.
The rest of the waste ends up in landfills, waste-to-energy facilities or the environment. In the environment, it can harm wildlife while taking hundreds of years to break down. One of the most common single-use plastics being banned is the plastic checkout bag at most grocery stores. Government data shows up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year in Canada.
They have also been finding lots of plastic waste on shorelines and in 2021 almost 17,000 plastic bags were collected during such cleanups. There are already some provincial and municipal jurisdictions that have already banned single-use plastics. Some of these places include P.E.I., Nova Scotia, and a number of B.C. communities.
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