Oceana Canada is available for comment today in reaction to the Government of Canada’s announcement regarding the upcoming ban of unnecessary single-use plastic.
Statement from Kim Elmslie, Campaign Director, Oceana Canada:
OTTAWA, ON – Today, Canada is one step closer to banning six of the harmful and unnecessary single-use plastics that are choking our oceans and marine life.
In an announcement this morning
, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, outlined positive steps toward eliminating plastic waste, including a proposal to ban the following single-use plastics: plastic bags, stir sticks, six-pack rings, straws, cutlery and food service containers made from plastics that are hard to recycle. Focusing on the elimination of harmful single-use plastics at their source is the only way to achieve a target of zero plastic waste by 2030.
There is broad support from Canadians for the government to take strong leadership on reducing plastic in our environment – 86 per cent want to see this ban on in place by 2021. And more than 100,000 people have signed Oceana Canada’s petition at Change.org/EndthePlasticDisaster
As Canada boasts the world’s longest coastline, touching three oceans, we have a national and global responsibility, and an opportunity, to show strong leadership in ending plastic waste.
The statistics on plastic are sobering – 22 million kilograms leak into the oceans every day, equivalent to one garbage truck worth of plastic per minute. Almost half of Canada’s plastic waste comes from single-use packaging. The solution is to stop single-use plastic production at the source, and we believe that the ban should reflect this.
More Canadian plastic stats:
- Canada uses 4.6 million metric tonnes of plastics every year – roughly 125 kilograms per person – and that number is predicted to grow to more than six million metric tonnes by 2030.
- Each year, approximately 70 per cent of the plastic we consume – 3.3 million tonnes – is thrown in the trash.
- Canada has exported roughly four million tonnes of plastic waste between 1988-2016, the weight of about 800 blue whales worth of plastic per year – mostly to Asian countries that are ill-equipped to handle it and which are now refusing to accept more.
- Only nine per cent of plastic has been recycled.
- Eighty-seven per cent of the plastic waste we think is being recycled ends up in landfills and the environment.
- The global production of plastics is expected to grow four times by 2050.
To learn more about Canada’s contribution to the global plastic disaster, download our report: Drowning in Plastic