Imagine: we could eliminate the equivalent of more than a million garbage bags every year. Canada is trying to do the same, as the northern country has imposed a world-leading ban on harmful disposable plastics. The ban will result in the estimated elimination of more than 1.3 million tons of recyclable plastic waste and more than 22,000 tons of plastic pollution.
The United States contributes more to pollution pollution than any other state, producing about 287 pounds of plastic per capita each year.
The Canadian government is a leader among its international peers in banning harmful plastics and removing them from the environment. The announcement, announced on June 20, sets out final rules for banning disposable plastics, including:
- cash bags
- food service containers made of or containing problematic plastics that are difficult to recycle
- ring carriers
- mix the sticks
- most straw
Three target annual milestones were presented:
- Plastic production will come into force in December 2022.
- The sale of plastics will be banned from December 2023 (the next 18 months should give enterprises enough time to transition and deplete existing stocks).
- By the end of 2025, the export of 6 categories of plastics will be banned.
The campaign is part of a broader agenda to demonstrate leadership that will protect biodiversity, promote a healthy environment at home and around the world, and help meet the commitments of the Ocean Plastics Charter and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Brief facts about harmful plastics
In Canada, about 15 billion plastic bags are used every year, and about 16 million straws are used every day. Such disposable plastics make up the majority of plastic waste found off the coast of Canada.
Sales of disposable elastic plastic straws will be limited from December 2023. Exceptions to the ban on sticks allow disposable plastic flexible straws to remain available in Canada to people who need them for medical or other reasons. This includes use at home, in social settings, or in health facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. All other types of disposable plastic straws will be banned.
The ban on the production and import of ring carriers and flexible straws packed with beverage containers (eg juice cans) will take effect in June 2023, and the ban on the sale of these items will take effect in June 2024. These transition time schedules recognize the complexity of rebuilding production lines for these products.
The government has also published two guidelines: one to help businesses comply with the rules, and the other to help businesses and people in Canada choose more sustainable alternatives to disposable plastics.
The report, “Scientific Assessment of Plastic Pollution,” published on October 7, 2020, provided information on the development and implementation of Canadian policy and guided research on plastic pollution in Canada.
The draft rules have been published Canadian NewspaperPart I, for a 70-day comment period on December 25, 2021. The opinion received was taken into account in the preparation of the final rules.
Moving towards a more circular economy for plastics could reduce carbon emissions by 1.8 megatons a year, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create about 42,000 jobs by 2030.
Earlier this summer, the Canadian government will begin consultations on approaches to the federal public plastic registry and the development of labeling rules that will prevent the use of the follow-up arrow symbol on plastic items if at least 80% of recycling facilities in Canada do not accept them. and they have reliable end markets.
US and Harmful Plastics
New York has made fragmented efforts by some states to ban disposable plastic bags in 2020. Earlier this month, a California bill was introduced to reduce plastic production for disposable products such as shampoo bottles and food containers. increasing by 25% from the next decade.
According to a congressional mandate, the United States is a world leader in plastic waste and needs a national strategy to combat the problem. Here, the authors note that the formation of plastic waste is directly related to the amount of plastic produced and used.
Harmful plastic pollution is a special example of the destruction of pollution today. The appearance of global ocean plastic waste, for example, has been widely publicized, combined with increasing documentation of its ubiquitous nature, its destructive effects on ocean health and marine life, and its transport through the food network. According to the authors, the report shows how solid waste managed in the United States should not contribute to ocean plastic waste because it is recycled and / or converted into other products (recycling, composting, incineration) or stored in the waste. engineering landfill environment.
In practice, when plastic waste is blown out of the bins, it “leaks” from waste systems that are still managed as a result of actions such as illegal dumping or littering, or in unregulated areas. Recycling poses many problems, including inconsistencies between different types of plastics and large differences in processing requirements.
On World Ocean Day, June 8, 2022, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued Secretary Order 3407, which aims to reduce the supply, sale, and distribution of disposable plastic products and packaging. Products on lands managed by the Department until 2032. The order is part of President Biden’s Executive Order 14057, which calls on federal agencies to minimize waste and support markets for recycled products. There are plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups.
A United Nations resolution passed in March sets out an ambitious plan to draft a legally binding treaty to reduce plastic waste. A global agreement to end plastic pollution could result in restrictions on plastic production or the imposition of regulations to make plastic easier and less toxic.
“High and rapidly increasing levels of plastic pollution are a serious environmental problem on a global scale,” the resolution said, adding that “there is an urgent need to strengthen global coordination, cooperation and governance over the long term.”
However, the contract proposals are preliminary and have been withdrawn from the oil and petrochemical industries.
U.S. Orders are a starting point, but the U.S. will take a comprehensive approach to solving the problem of harmful plastics. Start locally. Contact your favorite beverage vendor and request refillable containers. Call on corporations that use deception to hide their plastic production obligations. Be harmful to your state legislators and ask them to prosecute manufacturers of plastic pollutants.
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