Single-use plastics will be banned by 2021, Trudeau announces

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"The issue of plastic pollution will increasingly be seen as an issue for developing countries that feel they are being dumped with waste from rich countries that should be taking care of their own waste internally", said Sara Seck, a Dalhousie University law professor.

He said companies that produce plastics or use them in packaging will be responsible for the collection and recycling of the waste.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just announced that Canada will follow in the European Union's footsteps and ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. The country now recycles less than 10 percent of the plastic it uses. "And to be honest as a dad it is tough trying to explain to my kids", Trudeau said. "How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches around the world, their stomachs jam-packed with plastic bags?"

The details of how such a ban would be implemented remain unknown, but the government will conduct research to determine the best course of action, which it says will be grounded in scientific evidence.

"As parents, we're at a point where we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn't littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles", he said.

The United States and Japan did not sign the charter.

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The official said Trudeau's government is looking at what the European Union did and drawing inspiration from their model.

Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter, who also praised the plan in a statement, said that "bans on single-use plastics will help address the growing threat of microplastics in our food, water, and air-the health effects of which are unknown".

Eight years ago, the ACT banned single-use plastic shopping bags - and now the territory is taking aim at a range of other single-use plastics. "They also send a powerful signal that the world does not welcome more climate-damaging fracked gas to create plastic".

Canada recently became entangled in a political dispute with the Philippines over 1,500 tons of household waste - mislabeled as recyclable plastics - shipped to Southeast Asia in 2013 and 2014.

Microplastics often come from larger plastics breaking down.

About 3 million tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away each year in the country. "This represents up to $8 billion per year in lost value and wastes valuable resources and energy".

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