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Canada: The New Leader of Plastic Reduction in North America

Canada: The New Leader of Plastic Reduction in North America

According to astonishing statistics from the official agency, Canadians use more than 15 billion plastic bags yearly, while the percentage of plastic recycling is only 8%. Thus, Canada has followed other countries' pace and responded to the international plastic reduction trend to improve the current situation.

The Pioneer of Plastic Reduction in North America

In April 2020, Vancouver became the first city to execute plastic reduction policies on a large scale by banning plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam containers in phases. Then, in October of the same year, the government released a statement that there would be no plastic bags, boxes, containers and three other single-use products in Canada by the end of 2021. Although this plan has been suspended due to Covid-19, on June 20, 2022, Steven Guilbeault, the minister of Environment and Climate Change, made an official decision with the minister of Health Canada, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced that all disposable plastic products are banned from December 2022. Besides, the production and import of single-use plastic are also illegal in this regulation.

With this prohibition, Canada expects to reduce 1.3 million kilograms of plastic waste in the next ten years, causing significantly less environmental damage.

Canada: The New Leader of Plastic Reduction in North America

The Actions of Enterprises and Canadians

Before the government implements these policies, many enterprises have already contributed to the plastic reduction. For example, the fast-food restaurant chain A&W has banned plastic straws since June 2018 and replaced plastic cups with recyclable packaging containers by the end of the same year.

Canada: The New Leader of Plastic Reduction in North America

Those actions by corporations motivate the public to respond enthusiastically. Scott Stewart, Associate Director of the Lifestyle & Leisure Department at Mintel, said: "Given that most Canadians consider themselves to be sustainable consumers and concerns surrounding sustainability are on the rise, companies and brands can confidently roll out sustainability strategies knowing that consumers are receptive." With the virtuous circle formed by enterprises and consumers, Canada is ready to go further to become a plastic-free country.

Future Plan for Plastic Reduction

Due to this positive plastic reduction atmosphere, the Canadian government plans to develop more related policies. Besides the previous ban on plastic bags, it intends to prohibit selling plastic products from December 2023, and there'll be no production, importing, or exporting of any plastic products in Canada before the end of 2025. In addition, the government aims to be plastic-free in 2030 by eliminating all plastics.

Even though Canada has suspended the schedule of plastic reduction, they still take decisive and immediate actions to face the plastic crisis. These acts fulfill the national commitments to Ocean Plastics Charter and meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), making Canada an outstanding global benchmark against plastic pollution!

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