Last year on the blog, we wrote about Canada’s single use plastic ban and what you could expect. The goal was to ban all single-use plastics by the end of 2021 as a way to lessen the impact of plastic in our environment.
However, now that we’re a few months into 2022, we wanted to give an update on the status of Canada’s plastic ban. Has it come into effect? What can you expect in the coming months?
Read on to find out more!
What’s Happening With the Plastic Ban?
Since we’re in a new year, where do we stand with the plastic ban? In December 2021, CTV News advised that plans for the regulations are delayed until 2022.
Originally, the first phase of the proposed plan originally set for 2021 was to eliminate six common plastic products. These products include:
- Checkout bags
- Stir Sticks
- Beverage six-pack rings
- Food packaging made from plastics that are “difficult to recycle”
The government chose these items since they have affordable, readily available options to replace them. One item from this list making a small but notable change is the straw! Many restaurants have already made the switch from plastic straws to a paper alternative. If you’re not a fan of the paper straw, you can check out our blog post on single-use plastic straw alternatives for more options!
When discussing the regulations, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault said:
The proposed Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations are a big step forward in our goal to reduce plastic pollution and move to a circular economy for plastics.Source
However, even if Canadian consumers switch from plastic to their greener alternatives, Canada as a country is still contributing to the global plastic problem. Unfortunately, the government is still allowing Canadian manufacturers to produce these single use plastic products, as long as they are only used for export.
Did you know: Canada produces about $10 billion worth of new plastic each year?
Even if every Canadian business and consumer switches to a more sustainable option, it’s just one step towards lessening our collective plastic output.
Vancouver’s Cup and Shopping Bag Bylaw
Some Canadian cities are already taking the steps towards making the ban a reality. As of January 1, 2022, in addition to the ban on plastic straws, businesses in Vancouver have banned plastic and compostable bags, and implemented charges for some other popular disposable products.
This includes a minimum:
- $0.25 fee for disposable cups
- $0.15 for paper bags
- A minimum $1.00 fee for new reusable shopping bags
While this doesn’t completely eliminate the availability of disposable products, goal of the fees is to encourage consumers to bring their own reusable options. Additionally, the fees aim to help businesses with the transition towards more eco-friendly alternatives. You can learn more about the city of Vancouver’s single-use product bylaws, here.
What Can You Do?
Now that we’re caught up to speed, what can you do to help? The plastic problem might not be solved by the everyday person, but every effort helps! Still not sure how you can contribute? This next section is for you!
Switch To Reusable Options
Making a switch to reusable options is an easy way to reduce the amount of plastic in your day to day life! This can be as simple as bringing a reusable straw and cup to the coffee shop, or bringing reusable bags to the grocery store!
Especially with the plastic ban eventually eliminating plastic checkout bags, bringing a reusable bag to the grocery store is a great way to start shifting your mindset to a more eco-friendly option.
Recycle What You Can
According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, Canada only recycles 9% of all plastic waste! The remaining plastic ends up in incinerators or as litter. By learning how to properly dispose of various packaging materials, we can help keep some of the waste out of our environment.
When you see the classic three-arrow recycling logo on plastic, that doesn’t always mean that it’s recyclable in your area! We’ve broken down the different types of common household plastics in this blog post. There are also special rules for disposing of food packaging, which you can learn more about here. Remember to always check your city’s disposal rules before you toss your waste!
Contact Your Local Waste Facility
If you’re not sure what kind of plastic your city accepts, contact your local waste facility for more information! Overall, making sure that you educate yourself on the proper waste management rules of your city can help eliminate any unnecessary waste.
What’s the Next Step?
Now you’re all caught up on Canada’s plastic ban, what can you do? It’s simple; contact us! With the plastic ban hanging over us, switching to more eco-friendly packaging is a great way to prepare.
We offer a wide range of eco-friendly and reusable packaging solutions for every business. Not sure what kind of packaging would be best for your business? Our knowledgable Business Development Consultants can help you get started.