Statement on the Government of Canada’s announcement regarding the upcoming ban of unnecessary single-use plastic

Press Release Date: October 7, 2020

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
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
To request an interview, please contact: Tammy Thorne, Oceana Canada,, 437-247-0954 and Kathleen Munro, Pilot PMR,, 902-789-3165.