Starting December 20th, 2022, Canada’s single-use plastics ban comes into effect.

This first phase of the ban prevents several single-use items, such as plastic utensils and straws, from being imported for sale. Phase two, which is slated to occur in December 2023, will prevent these items from being sold within Canada. Restaurants Canada has suggested that the federal government extend the timeline to ensure that there is financial accessibility and availability of alternatives for small-to-medium businesses.

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On Dec. 20, Canada will ban the manufacturing and import-for-sale of several categories of plastics affecting a range of products such as checkout bags, cutlery, food-service containers, including Styrofoam, ring carriers for beverages, stir-sticks and straws.

A ban on the sale of these products will start in December 2023. Until then, businesses can continue to use plastic packaging.

However, many plastic products will continue to populate store shelves, like plastic bags to package fruits and vegetables and other loose bulk items, as well as meat, poultry and fish.

Bags intended to hold organic waste for composting are also excluded, and garbage bags are as well.

Ahead of the formal start of the federal plastics ban on Wednesday, a motion will be brought forward by Ottawa Coun. Theresa Kavanagh, seconded by Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, which calls on the city of Ottawa staff to cease buying single-use plastics like straws and stir-sticks immediately, and develop ways to reduce as much plastic waste as possible.

“We have to start somewhere and this is really just the start of the immense problem that we have with the overflow of plastic,” says Kavanagh. “So if the city does it themselves, we’re setting a good example. Obviously we have to go much further than that and just little things like refusing to take utensils and things that are single use is helpful… Every little bit helps and I think that we all have to be conscious that those efforts add up.”

Tyler Fleming, CTV News, Dec 12, 2022.

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