HALIFAX, NS, Oct. 7, 2020 /CNW/ - Plastic is polluting our rivers, lakes, and oceans and harming the wildlife that calls those places home. Of the 3 million tonnes of plastic waste Canadians throw away each year, only 9 percent is recycled, representing about $8 billion in lost revenue. The Government of Canada is working to keep plastics in our economy and out of the environment, which will protect wildlife and our waters, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money, and create jobs.
Today, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson announced the next steps of the Government of Canada's plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.
A key part of the plan is a ban on harmful single-use plastic items where there is evidence that they are found in the environment, are often not recycled, and have readily available alternatives. Based on those criteria, the six items the Government proposes to ban are checkout plastic bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, and food ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics.
The list of items was published today in the discussion paper – A Proposed Integrated Management Approach to Plastic Products to Prevent Waste and Pollution. The approach also proposes improvements to recover and recycle plastic, to keep it in our economy and out of the environment.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with provinces, territories, and organizations that are working to reduce plastic pollution in communities across the country. That is why the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, also announced Canada's investment of over $270,000 to support four new projects in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador through the Zero Plastic Waste Initiative.
This funding will support the development of new innovative solutions that prevent, capture and remove plastic pollution and inform sustainable consumer actions. The organizations receiving funding include:
The Cape Breton Atlantic Coastal Action Program will explore environmentally responsible and cost-effective alternatives for local food packaging
International Fund for Animal Welfare Inc. will develop best practices and remove marine plastic litter in Newfoundland harbours
Municipality of the County of Victoria will identify innovative and customized solutions to target local plastic waste and pollution
TGM Tours Inc. will identify and trial approaches to reduce plastic waste and pollution and advance a circular economy in the Gros Morne Region
Through the Zero Plastic Waste Initiative, Environment and Climate Change Canada is investing about $2 million in support of new projects to implement innovative community solutions across Canada.
These projects will lead to a measurable reduction of plastic pollution in Canada and support a circular economy. By improving how we manage plastic waste and investing in innovative solutions, we can reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution per year, create jobs and leave a better, healthier planet for future generations.
"Canadians right here in Atlantic Canada are stepping up with innovative solutions to tackle plastic pollution and keep our oceans clean. Our government is proud to support these initiatives that will help protect our coastal environment and fight plastic pollution."
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Since 2018, Canada has invested an additional $3 million in mobilizing actions to raise awareness by Canadians and improve the understanding, mitigation, and remediation of plastic waste and pollution in Canada.
In Canada, 29,000 tonnes of plastic entered the environment as pollution in 2016 alone. Without action to prevent plastic pollution, this amount could rise to 40,000 tonnes by 2030.
Canadians throw away over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste every year—that's as heavy as 25,000 blue whales!
Only 9 percent of Canada's plastic waste is recycled while the rest ends up in landfills, waste-to-energy facilities, or the environment.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
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