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Plastic ban coming in 2021 after report concludes there is evidence of harm
OTTAWA — A national ban on many single-use plastics is on track for next year after a government report concluded Thursday that there is more than enough evidence proving plastic pollution is harmful.
“We will be moving towards a ban on harmful single-use plastics and we will be doing that in 2021,” said Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.
The federal Liberals promised last June they’d seek to ban plastic versions of a number of products such as straws, take-out containers and grocery bags. The ban would happen under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which requires a scientific assessment of the problem first.
A draft version of that assessment was released Thursday. It will be open to public comment until April 1.
The evidence is less clear about the harmful impacts of people or wildlife ingesting microplastics, and the scientists recommended further study be undertaken. A new fund of $2.2 million over the next two years will fund research on microplastics.
Wilkinson said the finding on macroplastics is enough to proceed with the ban.
He said the specific items that will be banned are still being worked out with scientists. A list will be released in the next few months, he said.
Plastic bags, straws, bottles and Styrofoam containers meant to be used once and discarded are all expected to be on the list but nothing has yet been confirmed.
He noted Canadians expect quick action on the file. Some companies are moving on their own. The Sobeys grocery chain is removing all plastic bags from its stores as of Jan. 31, taking 255 million plastic bags out of circulation over the next year. Canadians use as many as 15 billion plastic bags every year.
“I think the Canadian public wants to see action quickly so certainly if there is a phase-in period, it won’t be an extensive one.”
Read the full and original article at TimminsToday.com