CODE COVID: What the pandemic has taught us about long-term care
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
What you need to know about COVID-19 today
Continuing coverage: Mass shooting in Nova Scotia
Business Tool Kit 2021
Have you heard about the SaltWire News app?
Daily forecasts and weather facts from Cindy Day
The Heroes of 2020
Citizens say feds need to outlaw more than just six items
Two thirds of Canadians polled in a recent survey for Oceana Canada say they want the federal government’s ban on plastics to include more than the six items currently being proposed.
Last October, the federal Environment and Climate Change department proposed a ban on six single-use plastic items — checkout bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery and food ware — to come into effect in 2022.
Canadians said the list should be expanded to include other plastic products, said Oceana Canada plastic campaigner Ashley Wallis in a news release.
Those surveyed said they wanted the plastics ban in include hot and cold drink cups, cigarette filters, and all forms of polystyrene (Styrofoam).
Wallis said these items are commonly found littering the environment and polluting waterways, yet they are missing from the proposed ban list despite recent scientific modelling confirming we need to significantly reduce plastic waste generation – not just increase recycling – if we want to have a fighting chance of curbing the fatal flow of plastic into our waterways.
The survey of 1,500 Canadians was conducted by Abacus Data Dec. 14-17.
Among the questions posed was: Would you support or oppose a ban that included more types of single-use plastics (not including those needed for health or safety reasons)?
According to the results, 33 per cent strongly supported expanding the plastics ban and 30 per cent somewhat supported. Seven per cent were strongly opposed to an increased ban.
Oceana Canada added the plastics industry is "overly reliant" on recycling programs to handle the waste.
“Our recycling systems can’t handle the volume or complexity of materials on the market today. Meanwhile, plastic production is expected to double by 2035,” said Wallis. “We urgently need to reduce unnecessary plastic use and banning more harmful plastic products is a great place to start.”
Oceana Canada is calling on the Canadian government to take specific steps on the issue.
The group wants government to:
- To expand the ban list to include additional problematic plastic items, resins and material types;
- Create a science-based methodology to determine which plastic products should be banned;
- Establish pre- and post-consumption targets that contribute to a defined goal and environmental objective;
- Require Extended Producer Responsibility and establish high diversion targets and recycled content requirements; and
- Enforce penalties that are stringent enough to motivate compliance.
- In December, Oceana Canada submitted a report to Environment and Climate Change proposing measures to reduce plastic use in Canada. You can read that report here: https://oceana.ca/sites/default/files/2020-12-09_coments_re_plastics_discussion_paper_oceana_canada.pdf
- Oceana Canada is a non-profit group, formed in 2015 as part of the world’s largest international advocacy group dedicated solely to ocean conservation.