Final countdown to banning some single-use plastics in Canada begins today

spaminator

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Final countdown to banning some single-use plastics in Canada begins today
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mia Rabson
Publishing date:Jun 20, 2022 • 20 hours ago • 2 minute read • 12 Comments

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says Canada will ban companies from importing or making plastic bags and Styrofoam takeout containers by the end of this year, their sale by the end of next year and their export by the end of 2025.


The move to ban exports will be a welcome change for several environment advocates who were dismayed that Canada’s initial plan was to ban the items at home but continue to ship them abroad.

Guilbeault is publishing the final regulations enacting the ban today.

In addition to bags and takeout boxes, the ban will affect plastic straws, bags, cutlery, stir sticks and six-pack rings that hold cans and bottles.

There is some limited exception for straws to accommodate people with disabilities.

The federal government listed plastics as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act last year which paved the way for regulations to ban some.

However a consortium of plastics producers is suing the government over the toxic designation in a case expected to be heard later this year.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first promised in June 2019 that his government would phase out the production and use of hard-to-recycle plastic items as it aims for zero plastic waste by the end of the decade.

Initially he said the ban would happen in 2021, but the scientific assessment of plastics that was needed to put the ban in motion was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government is also intending to impose standards requiring a minimum amount of recycled content in single-use items in a bid to create a bigger market for plastic material from recycling plants.

Canada’s domestic recycling industry is very small, and the demand for recycled plastics very limited.

Plastic waste has been a growing problem around the world, with an estimated 10 per cent or less of most manufactured plastic recycled.


A research study published by Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2019 found 3.3 million tonnes of plastic was thrown out, almost half of it plastic packaging. Less than one-tenth of that was recycled. Most of the plastic ended up in landfills, where it will take hundreds of years to decompose.

An estimated 29,000 tonnes ended up as plastic pollution, littering parks, forests, waterways and shorelines with cigarette butts, food wrappers and disposable coffee cups.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup project in 2019 removed more than 163,000 kilograms of plastic waste from nearly 4,000 kilometres of shoreline in Canada. The documented haul included more than 12,000 plastic bottles, 12,480 plastic straws and almost 17,000 plastic bags.


Federal data show in 2019, 15.5 billion plastic grocery bags, 4.5 billion pieces of plastic cutlery, three billion stir sticks, 5.8 billion straws, 183 million six-pack rings and 805 million takeout containers were sold in Canada.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have already taken their own action against plastic bags as have some cities including Regina, Victoria and Montreal.

Some retailers also moved faster than the government, with Sobeys eliminating single-use plastic bags at its checkout counters in 2020, and Walmart following suit this past April.

Many fast food outlets replaced plastic straws with paper versions over the last several years as well.
 

harrylee

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Wife is a bit pissed about the straws. Other than that, it won't affect us much. Haven't used a plastic bag since the 5 cent fiasco.
I wonder if kitchen catchers and big green garbage bags will get outlawed? They are single use. At least a Walmart plastic bag was double use....bring stuff home and then as a garbage bag.

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Ron in Regina

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It is important to recognize that the federal government’s ban on plastic straws and forks is “historic.” Why, Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault took the trouble to tell us so himself lest we peasants overlook his greatness and declare the whole thing silly.
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Permit me to guffaw anyway, because down here in the mud there are certain insights that never get old, partly because ignoring them never seems to either. As my old boss Bill Watson recently grumbled in the Post, “A longstanding problem in policy discussions is that people don’t consider what a proposed policy will actually do. Rather, they spend their time describing the desirable attributes of its platonic ideal.”
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Like Guilbeault, modestly tweeting that this ban “is a historic step towards beating plastic pollution and keeping our communities, lands and oceans clean.” To which some smart-aleck promptly replied “how much of the plastic currently ending up in the oceans originates in Canada?”
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Virtually none. It’s almost all refuse coming down 10 rivers in Asia and Africa, plus “ghost” fishing gear. But who cares? We’re signalling virtue here not solving an actual problem. We don’t do such things. As a casual scan of the newspapers will reveal, from passports to defence procurement to inflation. Instead it’s death to “single-use plastics.”
1655866300814.jpegLike every normal person I reused “disposable” grocery bags for trash, I will now simply start buying other essentially identical plastic bags. Oddly, Guilbeault and the lads and lasses weren’t saying it was bad to make, use or throw out such things.
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Fundamentally it was about us being litterbugs, since their very high opinion of themselves seems to correlate effortlessly with a very low opinion of us. Hence their banning “misinformation” while spewing it, scorning government transparency while tracking us etc. And the thing where it’s still legal to sell 20-packs of bendy plastic straws but not to display them, in the apparent belief we’ll be too stupid to discover their existence. As with cigarettes.
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Not being as dumb as they think I look, I might start bringing kitchen trash bags to the supermarket. Otherwise it’ll be those dang reusables, which aren’t very sanitary (remember, after banning disposables in 2007 San Francisco also banned reusables as “fomites” in 2020) unless you wash them regularly, using energy and dumping chemicals into the water.
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Ditto plastic forks, straws and so on. I grant that litter is unsightly and occasionally harms wildlife. But reusable straws are less sanitary and if it saves just one life it’s worth it, right? It was certainly meant to be back when stores forbade reusable mugs during the COVID pseudo-crisis.
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I wonder what the future of take-out Wonton Soup will look like? Maybe that can put it into a Trudeau Paper Water Box?
 

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Tecumsehsbones

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You're still the one
No matter how corrupt and lazy
You're still the one
Driving whining Cons crazy
No matter how sinsister
You're still Prime Minister
--Apologies to Hall&Hall
 
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petros

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You have far too much time on your hands. Have you considered a part time job or even volunteering for a worthy organization?
 

Ron in Regina

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From the beginning, nothing about the Trudeau government’s crusade against plastics has made much sense. According to the government’s own calculations, the “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” program will waste money, reduce global plastic waste by an insignificant amount and actually increase the bulk of wastes in Canada. But now, by targeting plastic food packaging, we move from merely futile to potentially dangerous.

Having banned some single-use plastics of convenience (straws, cutlery, etc.), the Trudeau government has turned its sights on plastics of necessity, including plastic films to keep foods isolated from contamination, protect them from pests and destructive oxidation, and help keep them cold, which is critical to preventing microbial contamination and spoilage.

This is a major turning point in the Trudeau government’s war on plastics, which incidentally fails on economic and environmental grounds. Even if its “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” program was to work, it would prevent a paltry increase from 0.02-0.03% to 0.023-0.033% of global plastic pollution, an undetectable reduction of three-thousandths of 1% by the government’s own admission.
 
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pgs

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From the beginning, nothing about the Trudeau government’s crusade against plastics has made much sense. According to the government’s own calculations, the “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” program will waste money, reduce global plastic waste by an insignificant amount and actually increase the bulk of wastes in Canada. But now, by targeting plastic food packaging, we move from merely futile to potentially dangerous.

Having banned some single-use plastics of convenience (straws, cutlery, etc.), the Trudeau government has turned its sights on plastics of necessity, including plastic films to keep foods isolated from contamination, protect them from pests and destructive oxidation, and help keep them cold, which is critical to preventing microbial contamination and spoilage.

This is a major turning point in the Trudeau government’s war on plastics, which incidentally fails on economic and environmental grounds. Even if its “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” program was to work, it would prevent a paltry increase from 0.02-0.03% to 0.023-0.033% of global plastic pollution, an undetectable reduction of three-thousandths of 1% by the government’s own admission.
How can the world stop its polluting ways if we don’t lead by example . We are doing fine on the carbon reduction front , just look at all the countries following us .
 
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petros

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From the beginning, nothing about the Trudeau government’s crusade against plastics has made much sense. According to the government’s own calculations, the “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” program will waste money, reduce global plastic waste by an insignificant amount and actually increase the bulk of wastes in Canada. But now, by targeting plastic food packaging, we move from merely futile to potentially dangerous.

Having banned some single-use plastics of convenience (straws, cutlery, etc.), the Trudeau government has turned its sights on plastics of necessity, including plastic films to keep foods isolated from contamination, protect them from pests and destructive oxidation, and help keep them cold, which is critical to preventing microbial contamination and spoilage.

This is a major turning point in the Trudeau government’s war on plastics, which incidentally fails on economic and environmental grounds. Even if its “Zero Plastic Waste by 2030” program was to work, it would prevent a paltry increase from 0.02-0.03% to 0.023-0.033% of global plastic pollution, an undetectable reduction of three-thousandths of 1% by the government’s own admission.
 
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spaminator

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Study punches holes in theory that paper straws better than plastic
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Aug 29, 2023 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read
A new study, published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants, looked at more than 20 different brands of plant-based straws and found high levels of toxic chemicals in nearly all of them.
A new study, published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants, looked at more than 20 different brands of plant-based straws and found high levels of toxic chemicals in nearly all of them.
Paper straws suck, according to a new study.


While Canada continues to ramp up its efforts to ban the distribution of single-use plastics, including straws, it turns out the paper alternative might not the most ideal replacement.


A new study, published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants, looked at more than 20 different brands of plant-based straws and found high levels of toxic chemicals in nearly all of them.

“These ‘eco-friendly’ plant-based straws are not necessarily a more sustainable alternative to plastic straws,” concluded a research team based at Belgium’s University of Antwerp.

Paper and bamboo straws examined by the researchers were largely found to carry “forever chemicals” known as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to USA Today.


It means the straws aren’t likely biodegradable and they are vectors for chemicals considered hazardous to human and environmental health, according to the study.

The chemical most commonly found was perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which was banned globally in 2020.

The researchers suggested that, while manufactures could purposely be coating their plant-based straws in chemicals to make them water-repellent, the presence of PFAS could also be attributed to contaminated soil or an unintended consequence of material recycling.

The Belgian study comes after a 2021 U.S. study, which found the presence of 21 PFAS in paper and other plant-based straws versus no measurable amounts in plastic ones.


Exposure to PFAS can be associated with low birth weight, high cholesterol, thyroid disease and an increased risk of kidney and liver cancers.

Graham Peaslee, who studies PFAS at the University of Notre Dame and wasn’t part of the new research, said it’s possible manufacturers aren’t testing for the chemicals in their own products.

“All the straw manufacturers should take warning and say, ‘Hey, do we use this stuff?’ Because at the moment, they’re not even asking that question,” Peaslee said, according to NBC News.

In December 2022, Environment Canada made it illegal to manufacture or import plastic straws, cutlery and checkout bags, among others. At the end of this year, the sale of those products will also become prohibited.
 
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Ron in Regina

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As you may know by now, as part of its “zero plastic waste” crusade, the Trudeau government has banned several kinds of plastic eating and drinking utensils and plastic grocery bags.

The rationale behind these bans is that single-use plastics harm the environment; directly, by escaping into the physical environment and causing harms to wildlife, and indirectly by the greenhouse gas emissions attendant upon their manufacture.

But these rationales were known (yes, even by government) to be spurious. The government’s own analysis acknowledged that the amount of plastics from these sources physically entering the environment was minuscule. And that the potential greenhouse gas reductions from banning such plastics were equally minuscule in a global context and incapable of exerting any measurable influence on global climate…but…that’s in line with Canada’s established environmental policy to date.

It was also known that the alternatives to plastic straws, forks, spoons, etc. would likely cause as much or more environmental harm — more waste to manage, more potential hygienic reductions, and more environmental impacts related to wood-and-paper-goods production, the favourite candidate for substitution products. Finally, it was also known that the ban plan would have costs that far outweighed the benefits of its stated goals….so Damn the Bamboo Torpedoes

In fact, all of these things were so well established it’s nearly impossible to view the government’s plastic ban as anything other than political performance art. There’s certainly no basis on which it can be anything resembling rational public policy.
Clearly, the Trudeau government should retract the bans on single-use plastics, and for that matter, the entire “zero plasticwaste” framework, which has been demonstrated to be stunningly poor public policy. Unfortunately for Canadians, the government has shown a preference for doubling and tripling down on its mistakes and failures, so such an outcome is likely to await some future government more grounded in reality in the Fall of 2025 if not hopefully sooner.
 

petros

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Nov 21, 2008
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As you may know by now, as part of its “zero plastic waste” crusade, the Trudeau government has banned several kinds of plastic eating and drinking utensils and plastic grocery bags.

The rationale behind these bans is that single-use plastics harm the environment; directly, by escaping into the physical environment and causing harms to wildlife, and indirectly by the greenhouse gas emissions attendant upon their manufacture.

But these rationales were known (yes, even by government) to be spurious. The government’s own analysis acknowledged that the amount of plastics from these sources physically entering the environment was minuscule. And that the potential greenhouse gas reductions from banning such plastics were equally minuscule in a global context and incapable of exerting any measurable influence on global climate…but…that’s in line with Canada’s established environmental policy to date.

It was also known that the alternatives to plastic straws, forks, spoons, etc. would likely cause as much or more environmental harm — more waste to manage, more potential hygienic reductions, and more environmental impacts related to wood-and-paper-goods production, the favourite candidate for substitution products. Finally, it was also known that the ban plan would have costs that far outweighed the benefits of its stated goals….so Damn the Bamboo Torpedoes

In fact, all of these things were so well established it’s nearly impossible to view the government’s plastic ban as anything other than political performance art. There’s certainly no basis on which it can be anything resembling rational public policy.
Clearly, the Trudeau government should retract the bans on single-use plastics, and for that matter, the entire “zero plasticwaste” framework, which has been demonstrated to be stunningly poor public policy. Unfortunately for Canadians, the government has shown a preference for doubling and tripling down on its mistakes and failures, so such an outcome is likely to await some future government more grounded in reality in the Fall of 2025 if not hopefully sooner.
Where are the cardboard water boxes?
 

Jinentonix

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Yep, funny stuff here. I can go to the grocery store and buy a pound of ham in plastic packaging, a loaf of bread in a plastic bag, a gallon of milk in not one, not two, not three but FOUR plastic bags, a pack of napkins in plastic wrap, a store-made salad in a plastic tub, a plastic bottle of mustard and ketchup, but they won't give me a plastic bag to carry it home because plastic bags are bad for the environment.

This country really is being run by a mental midget.
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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Yep, funny stuff here. I can go to the grocery store and buy a pound of ham in plastic packaging, a loaf of bread in a plastic bag, a gallon of milk in not one, not two, not three but FOUR plastic bags, a pack of napkins in plastic wrap, a store-made salad in a plastic tub, a plastic bottle of mustard and ketchup, but they won't give me a plastic bag to carry it home because plastic bags are bad for the environment.

This country really is being run by a mental midget.
Reductio ad absurdam is a good fallacy.
 

Jinentonix

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Reductio ad absurdam is a good fallacy.
Uh, it's not reductio ad absurdam, it's reality. Sorry you can't deal with it. For example, in the US a gallon of milk comes in a plastic jug that is reusable/recyclable. In Canada 4L of milk (or approx 1 gallon) comes in 4 plastic bags. One large bag that holds the other three bags that contain the milk. But I'm not allowed to have a plastic bag to carry it home. A plastic bag I might add that will be reused, unlike the milk bags.

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It's absurd all right, but reductio ad absurdam? Nah. 4 plastic bags for milk is fine but 1 plastic bag to carry it home is beyond the fucking pale in Groper's brain-dead little mind. THAT'S absurd.