Canada to Ban Single-Use Plastics


QUEBEC CITY — The Government of Canada has taken the final step to deliver on its commitment to ban single-use plastics. Prohibited single-use plastics include checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws.

The ban on the manufacture and import of single-use plastics, with a few targeted exceptions, will come into effect in December 2022. To provide businesses in Canada with enough time to transition and deplete their existing stocks, the sales of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023. The government will also prohibit the export of plastics in the six categories by the end of 2025, making Canada the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally.

Over the next decade, this ban will result in the estimated elimination of more than 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution.

“We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on single-use plastics. Today, that’s exactly what we’ve done. By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics,” says the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or re-usable bags. With these new regulations, we’re taking a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution, and keeping our communities and the places we love clean.”

Restaurants Canada has expressed concern in response to this announcement, as the news is placing added pressure on the foodservice industry while it continues to struggle and re-build following the pandemic.

“In removing single-use plastics from the market without enough affordable and sustainable replacement options in place, the industry will take on an estimated 125-per-cent increase in costs,” said the association in a press release. “This does not account for the costs associated with the increased demand for such products resulting in supply shortages. Restaurants Canada would have appreciated a more gradual, phased-in approach to new plastics regulations, to give restaurant operators time to source safe and cost-effective packaging alternatives, and give manufacturers time to produce them.”

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