The Government of Canada has taken a major step towards reducing plastic pollution and protecting the environment by introducing the Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations. These regulations ban the manufacture, import, sale and distribution of six types of single-use plastics that are commonly found in the environment and pose a threat to wildlife, are hard to recycle, contributes to the greenhouse gases and takes hundreds of years. The six types of single-use plastics that are banned are:

  • Plastic checkout bags
  • Straws
  • Stir sticks
  • Six-pack rings
  • Cutlery
  • Food service ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics

The regulations will come into force on December 20, 2023, giving businesses and consumers time to adapt and find more sustainable alternatives. The regulations also include exemptions for certain uses of these products, such as for accessibility or health reasons, or when no viable alternatives are available.

As per one of the 2016 reports, due to the extremely short lifecycle of plastics from packaging (i.e., most plastic packaging is single-use in nature) compared to plastics from other sectors, packaging accounted for 47% of the plastic waste. The ban on single-use plastics is part of the government’s broader strategy to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. The government recognizes that plastic is an essential material for many businesses of the economy, especially tourism and hospitality sector. This ban will have significant implications for the tourism and hospitality industry, which relies heavily on disposable plastic products for convenience and hygiene.

Why is the ban important for your business?

The ban on single-use plastics is not only good for the environment, but also for businesses. Here are some of the benefits of reducing single use plastic consumption:

  • Businesses can save money by switching to reusables that last longer and reduce waste disposal costs.
  • Businesses can attract more customers who are environmentally conscious and prefer businesses that share their values and practices.
  • Businesses can enhance their brand image and reputation by showing commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
  • Businesses can comply with the law and avoid fines or penalties for violating the ban.

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