Today’s Solutions: January 29, 2023

Canada has now become a world leader in environmental policy. On Monday, it laid out its final plans and regulations on how it intends to ban single-use plastics. 

Federal health minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the country recycles “only 8 percent of the plastic [Canada] throws away” and that 43,000 tonnes of single-use plastics wind up in the environment every year. 

The ban includes single-use plastic bags, cutlery, straws, takeout containers, stir sticks, and carrier rings. These six items will be banned from manufacturing and importing as of December 2022. By the end of 2025, Canada will also ban the export of these items. 

“The Canadian population was very clear with us,” said Duclos. “They’re tired of seeing plastic trash in parks, streets [and other locations].”

There are exceptions to the ban, for now. Single-use plastic straws will be allowed to be sold if they come in a pre-packaged drink container and only if it wasn’t packaged on site. The law also neglects plastic packaging for consumer goods, which accounts for most of the waste plastics produced. 

Canada headed the creation of the international Ocean Plastics Charter, which 28 countries have signed including France, Germany, and Costa Rica. The pledge aims to reduce plastic use and cooperates with industries to increase recycling.

This story was part of our Best of 2022 series highlighting our top solutions from the year. Today we’re featuring solutions in politics, policy-making, and governance.

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