(Wikimedia Commons)

Liberals to announce plan to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

But no list of banned products will be unfurled immediately

The federal government will announce a plan Monday to ban harmful single-use plastics like drinking straws as early as 2021.

No list of banned products will be unfurled immediately, two government officials with knowledge of the initiative said Sunday.

Rather, the Liberals want to look at the empirical evidence and do their own research to determine which products should be outlawed to help reduce the millions of tons of plastic waste that ends up in oceans each year.

The idea is to come up with a comprehensive plan to prohibit the production and sale of specific, toxic plastic products within a couple of years.

“Where the best solution is to ban, it will be banned,” said one official familiar with the plan.

Details will be announced Monday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in Toronto and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson in British Columbia.

At the last G7 summit, Canada and four other leading economies signed a charter pledging that by 2040 all plastic produced in their countries will be reused, recycled or burned to produce energy. (The United States and Japan stayed out.)

The proliferation of single-use plastic packaging like water bottles, drinking straws and food wrapping is sending massive amounts of plastic to landfills. More blows into waterways and drifts to the sea. Giant reefs of plastic are showing up in the oceans and fish and sea mammals are eating plastic objects thinking they’re food.

Canada, with the longest coastline in the world, has an important role to play internationally, another official said. “I think people really want to see us take some real action.”

READ MORE: Tofino and Ucluelet officially ban plastic bags and straws

READ MORE: B.C. grocery store uses embarrassing plastic bags to get shoppers to go reusable

The Canadian Press granted the government sources anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly prior to the announcement.

“Nothing’s happening overnight. But we’re announcing the intention to get there as early as 2021,” one of the officials said.

“We’re not specifically listing products. We’re going to be looking at the best evidence that’s out there and conducting studies to determine what the products are that make sense.”

However, plastic straws and foam food containers are the sort of items that could be banned.

“We want to make sure we get it right, and there are adverse effects on the economy,” a source said. “But the problem has now kind of reached a breaking point. It’s just so harmful to the environment.”

Under the plan, an expedited review of certain plastics products would take place through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act process.

In addition, the government is working toward making producers of plastic packaging ensure it is recyclable or reuseable. However, this must happen in concert with provinces and municipalities.

“We want it to be comprehensive. We’re not looking at just one specific sector, we’re looking at the entire problem,” one official said.

“We also think that there’s the opportunity for tens of thousands of jobs to be created through innovation and research and development.”

Jim Bronskill and Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

B.C. police watchdog group investigating after June 1 death of Kitimat man

The man was reported to have fallen a number of times while in police custody on May 30

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read