Canada bans single-use plastics from Dec 20

As Canada welcomes the world to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the government of Canada reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to address plastic pollution and protect biodiversity here at home, and around the world.

Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health; Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, on Saturday announced the next important steps in the government’s ban on harmful single-use plastics.

Effective from December 20, the import and manufacture of single-use plastic checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from problematic plastics, stir sticks, and straws that are hard to recycle (with some exceptions) will be prohibited.

The ban on the manufacture and import of ring carriers will enter into force in June 2023.

Over the next decade, the ban on harmful single-use plastics will result in the estimated elimination of over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution, which is equivalent to over one million full garbage bags.

The Canadian government will “continue to be guided by science” as it takes additional measures toward its zero plastic waste goal. The government is working with provinces, territories, and industry to set an ambitious collection target of 90 per cent for recycling plastic beverage bottles.

It is also developing regulations to require that certain plastic packaging contain at least 50 per cent recycled content and to establish clear rules for labelling recyclable and compostable plastics.

Draft regulations are targeted for publication as early as fall 2023. In addition, the government is developing a plastic registry to hold plastic producers accountable for their plastic waste.

These measures put Canada among world leaders in the fight against plastic pollution and will help to meet the commitments of the Ocean Plastics Charter.

Internationally, Canada continues to advance global ambition as a founding member of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution. It is working with countries and stakeholders globally to develop an ambitious and effective legally-binding treaty to end plastic pollution.

The world must act “urgently and concretely” to tackle plastic pollution and Canada will continue to be a “strong contributor” to this effort.

“We promised Canadians we would deliver a ban on certain harmful single-use plastics. Today, we’re following through on that commitment by prohibiting the manufacture and import in Canada of five of the six categories of these harmful single-use plastics. With this ban, and our participation toward achieving a global treaty, we’re joining the global effort to reduce plastic pollution and protect our wildlife and habitats,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at




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