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Canada to Ban Certain Single-Use Plastic Items


USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) Report

Country: Canada
Post: Ottawa
Report Category: Climate Change/Global Warming/Food Security, Policy and Program Announcements
Prepared By: Mihai Lupescu
Approved By: Tyler Babcock

Report Highlights:
The Canadian federal government opened public consultations on proposed regulations to ban the use of several single-use plastic items, such as checkout bags, stir sticks and straws. Stakeholders have until March 5, 2022, to provide their input. The ban on manufacturing and importing the specified plastic items would take effect one year after publication of final regulations, while the sale of those items would be prohibited after one additional year.

On December 25, 2021, the Canadian federal government published proposed Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part I, and opened a public comment period ending on March 5, 2022. Interested stakeholders are strongly encouraged to share their comments by contacting Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) at the following coordinates:

Email: ec.plastiques-plastics.ec@ec.gc.ca
Mail: Plastics Consultation
Plastics Regulatory Affairs Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd., Place Vincent Massey, 9-064
Gatineau, QC, K1A 0H3

The proposed regulations would ban manufacturing, importing, and selling the following six categories of single-use plastic manufactured items:

  • checkout bags
  • cutlery
  • foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics
  • ring carriers
  • stir sticks
  • straws

To help businesses transition away from these products, ECCC published a guidance document outlining considerations businesses can take into account when deciding on alternative products. ECCC is encouraging businesses to use as reference the previously developed management framework for single-use plastics (part of the federal government’s integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution) which relies on the two core concepts of environmentally problematic, and value recovery problematic single-use plastics.

The proposed regulations include certain exemptions for single-use plastic flexible straws. For instance, individuals may continue to buy single-use plastic flexible straws in retail stores if they are kept out of public view and offered only upon request, while hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other care institutions will continue to provide these products to patients or residents who require them.

The prohibition on manufacture and import for domestic consumption of the six targeted single-use plastic products would come into force one year following the publication of the final regulations.

Except for straws, the prohibition on sale of the other five targeted items would come into force two years following the publication of final regulations. For single-use plastic straws, given the exemptions allowed for flexible straws, the prohibition on sale would come into force at the same time as the prohibition on manufacture and importation (which is one year following the publication of final regulations).