Plastics are seen being gathered for recycling at a depot in North Vancouver on June, 10, 2019. Environment Canada is releasing scientific evidence today to back up the government’s bid to ban most single-use plastics next year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June the government was getting ready to prohibit the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as drinking straws, takeout containers and plastic cutlery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Environment Canada to release science review backing need for plastics ban

In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the trash

Environment Canada is releasing scientific evidence today to back up the government’s bid to ban most single-use plastics next year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June the government was getting ready to prohibit the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as drinking straws, takeout containers and plastic cutlery.

The first step in the process requires a scientific assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Today, Environment Canada officials will release the results of that work.

A recent audit of Canada’s plastic production and recycling industries done for the department found less than 10 per cent of the plastic products used in Canada are recycled.

In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the trash — 12 times the amount of plastic that was recycled.

A small amount of plastics is burned for energy at five Canadian waste-to-energy plants.

Almost 90 per cent of the plastic recycled in Canada is from packaging.

Canada’s domestic recycling industry is quite small, with fewer than a dozen companies. Most of Canada’s plastics destined for recycling end up overseas, where tracking what happens to them is difficult. Many end up being burned or thrown into trash piles somewhere else.

The audit found it is usually cheaper and easier to produce new plastic and throw it away than it is to recycle, reuse or repair it.

In 2018, when Canada hosted the G7 leaders’ summit, Canada and four other leading economies signed a charter pledging that by 2040 all plastic produced in their countries would be reused, recycled or burned to produce energy. The United States and Japan stayed out.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Tamitik Status of Women granted $500,000 to support housing construction project

The funds will be used to support the construction of second stage and affordable rental housing.

In Our Valley: Lois Godfrey

Godfrey has spent 50 years helping with the Girl Guides, and even more helping out in her community.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read