Plastic continues to be a problematic pollutant, causing harm to wildlife, ecosystems and bodies of water as a majority of it ends up in landfills.
Fortunately, the Canadian government is taking the necessary precautions to ban single-use plastics by the end of 2021, in order to reach zero plastic waste by 2030!
Let’s discuss this ban further and see what items are affected by it!
Circular Economy and the Ban
A circular economy refers to an economic system that aims to improve the environment through prioritizing waste removal and the continual reuse of resources. This works by keeping plastic out of the environment and within the economy.
On the contrary, if plastic continues to stay in the environment, it generates waste.
For instance, on an annual basis, Canadians throw away 3 million tonnes of plastic waste. In other words, this means that Canadians dispose of 570 garbage bags full of plastic every minute of every day!
Of these 570 garbage bags, only a very small percentage (9% to be exact) is recyclable. This emphasizes the lack of recovery options as a result of plastic disposal.
Even though microplastics and macro-plastics do not damage human health, the Canadian Environment Act emphasizes that it is still necessary to seek cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
As mentioned in our previous blog post, news of a nationwide ban was first pledged by the Canadian government in early 2020. However, the government provided no elaboration on what exact items would be included in this ban.
Nevertheless, due to COVID-19, there’s been a greater usage of takeout plastic bags. As a result, there’s a stronger recommitment to this ban.
Banned Single-Use Plastics
The Canadian single-use plastic ban addresses the following main categories:
- Primary packaging (food wrappers, retail product, beverage and shampoo packaging) and secondary/short lived packaging (takeout bags, produce bags, food containers)
- Convenience items such as utensils, hot and cold cups, straws, stir sticks, disposal wipes and quick serve containers
- Essential items such as masks and latex gloves
In accordance with these categories, The Canadian Management Framework for Single-Use Plastics discussion paper proposed the ban of these specific items:
- plastic checkout bags
- stir sticks
- six-pack rings
- hard-to-recycle plastic food-ware (like styrofoam)
The rationale behind banning these items is that not only are they environmentally problematic, but they’re also economically difficult to recover and recycle.
The discussion paper also took into account that there are readily available eco-friendly alternatives for these items, so a ban wouldn’t be an issue for existing users.
To effectively implement the ban on these items, new regulations will require:
- products to contain a minimum % of recycled content
- rules for measuring and evaluating the amount of recycled content
- guidelines and tools for companies to follow
Be sure to look for more blog posts, where we’ll go in depth regarding the new regulations when they’re announced!
Covid-19 Considerations and Exemptions
Due to COVID-19, PPEs will be exempt from this ban.
Moreover, it’s understandable that the use of of plastic by restaurants is essential to mitigate exposure to the novel coronavirus. In turn, “single-use” options will still be available, but the materials in use must be recyclable.
Likewise, plastic packaging without readily available alternatives (like contact lens plastic containers) are as of now exempt as well. However, eventually, there will be higher general standards and guidelines placed regarding these plastic products.
From Single to Reusable Packaging Options
From a business perspective, how will the nationwide ban impact your operations?
Thankfully, it won’t be because there are dozens of eco-friendly alternatives available!
Now’s the time to make the switch to more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging options! Why wait until the end of December 2021!?
If you are in need of any eco-friendly replacement options to plastic, LeKAC has got you covered!
Firstly, consider opting for paper bags as they’re not only cost-effective, but they can be recycled or composted after use.
An even better option is the reusable bag. It is by far the most sustainable option for businesses to invest in because they’re durable and provide long-lasting publicity. We offer a wide variety of reusable options made from hemp, non=woven PP, canvas and cotton materials
Secondly, if you are in need of any alternatives to cutlery, straws or stir sticks, we can make these similar items for you too!
Thirdly, in terms of six-pack rings, we have paper baskets available that can hold your alcoholic beverages perfectly!
Last but not least, if you’re looking to replace plastic or styrofoam food-ware, we’ve got all kinds of options available from take-out boxes, to food trays, paper cups and soup bowls.
All of our takeout options are made from Kraft paper which is biodegradable, compostable and recyclable! Just have a look at our takeout catalogue for more information!
What’s the Next Step?
If you want to take a step towards contributing to a circular economy and promoting eco-friendly alternatives, why not reach out to us today?
Here at LeKAC, we specialize in customizable and eco-friendly packaging. With excellent service and quality, our in-house design and product specialists can help you transition effectively to more sustainable packaging options.
Tell us what you currently have – plastic bag, single-item plastic boxes… whatever it is. We can provide you with suitable replacement options based on your company and different product range.