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Canada’s single-use plastics ban

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Dr. Myra Hird (Environmental Studies) is available to speak to the environmental impact of Canada’s ban on six different single use plastic items, which is in effect as of Dec. 20, 2022.

Among the items being banned are checkout bags, cutlery, and foods service wares that are made from or contain problematic plastics that are hard to recycle.

Over the next decade, this ban on harmful single-use plastics will result in the estimated elimination of over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution, which is equivalent to over one million full garbage bags. But does it go far enough?

“Canada’s single-use plastics ban at the tail end of 2022 - which bans a limited number of products such as takeout utensils - comes on the distant heels of countries such as Bangladesh, that led the ban back in 1998. On the one hand, the much-hyped ban will, theoretically, address a very small part of Canada’s plastics waste crisis. On the other hand, perhaps it’s a start. If this ban leads to bans on packaging (which accounts for over 60 per cent of household waste), and manufacturers are forced through regulations to innovate sustainable packaging, then we may look back on this single-use ban as the beginning of a tide turning in the right direction,” says Dr. Hird.

Dr. Hird’s research focuses on how plastics effect the environment, and attitudes towards waste production. She also represented Canada at the G7 Microplastics Paris meeting in 2019.

To arrange an interview, please contact Media Relations Officer Mitchell Fox (Mitchell.Fox@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.  

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