Victory! Canada Plans to Ban Single-Use Plastics in 2 Years

We’ve all had our share of bad news stories thanks to the current political and corporate environment, but today we can celebrate a victory for marine life, environmentalists, the health conscious and anyone who cares about the planet (which should be everyone).

In an announcement made by the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, he committed to banning single-use plastics like bags, straws and cutlery beginning in 2021. While the list of products that will be banned has not been firmed up, it may extend to drink stirrers, plastic plates, plastic swabs and balloon sticks. Food containers made of polystyrene (similar to styrofoam) will also be banned.

The ban follows that of the European Union which voted in March to ban plastic for which alternatives exist, including: single-use plastic cutlery and plates, as well as oxo-degradable plastics such as bags (because they don’t actually biodegrade; instead, they contain additives that cause the plastic to fragment rather than actually break down). It seems we were duped about biodegradable bags.

Canada’s plan will also require manufacturers or sellers of plastic products to be accountable for their plastic waste. In an interview with CBC News, Trudeau stated: “Whether we’re talking about plastic bottles or cellphones, it will be up to businesses to take responsibility for the plastics they’re manufacturing and putting out into the world.”

The plan to eliminate single-use plastics and hold manufacturers and sellers of plastic products accountable for plastic waste is part of the Ocean Plastics charter signed by Canada, the European Union, France, Germany and the United Kingdom at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada a year ago. The charter attempts to find ways to address marine plastics litter. Sadly, the United States did not sign the charter or commit to this important agreement.

To say that plastic is a problem would be an understatement. According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by weight. Plastic is a petroleum product, meaning that it is made from by products of the fossil fuel industry therefore climate change and plastic pollution are sides of the same problem. Plastics threaten the health and lives of marine life.

But, fish and other marine life aren’t the only ones at risk from our overuse of plastics. According to scientists at the University of Victoria, the Hakai Institute, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, humans eat an appalling 50,000 pieces of microplastic, inhale an additional 50,000 pieces of microplastic, and ingest an additional 90,000 pieces of microplastic from drinking bottled water, every year. The study published in the journal Environmental Science Technology reveals the alarming findings.

Some people mistakenly think that only BPA found in plastic is a human health problem, but that’s not the case. BPA, or bisphenol-A, is certainly a problem and one that has been linked to cancer, immune imbalances, infertility, obesity and a range of other health problems. Plastics, even BPA-free ones, often contain EAs, which is short for estrogen activity. These human-made chemicals pose a threat to humans and to children in particular. EAs increase aggression, affect the immune system and seriously affect hormones. Research in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives links these hormonal imbalances to early puberty in girls, reduced sperm counts, altered functions of reproductive organs, weight gain and obesity, altered sexual behaviors, as well as increased rates of breast, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancer.

To say that our plastic addiction is costing us our health, and possibly even our lives, is certainly not an exaggeration. Additionally, it is costing us our beautiful and magnificent planet. It’s great news that Canada is committed to eliminating single-use plastics and holding manufacturers and sellers of plastic products accountable for the waste they create, but we all need to do our part…fortunately, it’s easier than you think and it simply means thinking of ourselves as stewards of this great planet and making better and more informed choices.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include her newest book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease. Follow her work.

 

65 comments

Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer16 hours ago

GOOD

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Chad Anderson
Chad Andersonyesterday

Good news.

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Alexandra Richards

Thank you.

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Winn Adams
Winn A1 days ago

:-)

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Winn Adams
Winn A1 days ago

Thanks you Canada!

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Ganaisha C
Ganaisha Calvin1 days ago

now if we could just get the rest of the world to stop producing single-use plastic

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn2 days ago

Many thanks to you !

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Pietro Maiorana
Pietro M2 days ago

Ottima notizia se non fosse che l'oceano ne è ancora pieno e che bisogna trovare il modo per ripulire tutto velocemente

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 days ago

Well done, Canada.

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Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege2 days ago

Thank you, Canada. But it will only be efficient if the whole world does the same.

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