OTTAWA, June 10 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian government will ban single-use plastics in the country as early as 2021, according to the Canadian Prime Minister's Office on Monday.
"Less than 10 percent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. Without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated 11 billion Canadian dollars (about 8.2 billion U.S. dollars) worth of plastic materials each year by 2030. We've reached a defining moment, and this is a problem we simply can't afford to ignore," said the office in a statement.
Under the statement, the Canadian government will take measures to ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021 such as plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks.
In addition, the federal government will work with provinces and territories to introduce standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging so they become responsible for their plastic waste.
"Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste. We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come," Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau was quoted as saying.
Some one-third of the plastics used in Canada are for single-use or short-lived products and packaging. In fact, in Canada, up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year and close to 57 million straws are used daily.
Canada has recently been criticized in international headlines after dozens of containers of plastic garbage were found in the Philippines and Malaysia.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the European Union signed the Ocean Plastics Charter at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada last June to deal with marine plastics litter. They agreed to curb plastic pollution or reduce the consumption of plastics.