The federal government is getting rid of single-use plastics.
Things such as straws, plastic bags, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks will be banned as of early 2021.
These measures follow the direction multiple countries and the European Union have already started to undertake.
At a conference in Toronto, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna says these plastics are doing more harm than good.
“Too much plastic is ending up in our environment, our lakes, our oceans, our rivers or landfills instead of being recycled or reused.”
The government suggests Canadians throw away over three million tonnes of plastic waste each year. This represents up to $8 billion per year in lost value.
Along with hurting financially, McKenna says this is having an even more devastating impact on the environment.
“Everytime we fail to recycle our plastic we have to produce more – new plastic generate more emissions that we know cause climate change.”
The hope is the ban will also help more wildlife strive in their various eco-systems. Each year, millions of birds and animals are killed or injured from plastic.
“Canadians are shocked when they see turtles stuck in plastic fishing nets struggling to set themselves free, they’re shocked to hear there’s plastic found in birds in the high arctic,” added McKenna.
The government is also supporting the proposed action plan for zero plastic waste by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and are planning to work with provinces and territories to introduce standards and targets for companies to become more responsible for their plastic waste.