This 2008 photo provided by NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center shows debris in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. Worldwide, it's estimated that there are 8 million tons of plastic in our oceans. Photo: The Associated Press/NOAA

Canada proposes international plastics reform


Canada will host the upcoming G7 meeting in Quebec City this June.  One of the things expected to be proposed by Canada during the gathering is a “plastics charter”

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna unveils the Trudeau government’s new energy project assessment approach in February, 2018. The government is expected to use its position as host of the G7 summit to propose a “plastics charter” calling for a zero waste policy. Photo: Justin Tang- CP

The European Union already has a plan to require that at least half of the plastics produced by 2030 are recycled. The Canadian proposal seeks to have that increased to 100 per cent recovery. This would mean either re-usable, recyclable, or compostable.

Canada which has also banned plastic “microbeads” often found in body and facial scrubs and in some toothpastes, will try to convince other nations to adopt a similar ban on microbeads.

Right now, estimates are that some eight million tonnes of plastics are ending up in the world’s oceans every year.  A 2014 study also found high concentrations of microplastics in the Great Lakes, approximately 6.7 million particles per square kilometre.

An Albatross carcass, one of several, found on Midway Island in the central Pacific Ocean, which had died likely from blocked gut from eating plastics they mistook for food floating on or just under the surface of the ocean. Photo: Britta Denise Hardesty

Another recent European research effort found surprisingly high amounts of plastics in Arctic ice.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Critics say Canada’s plans would carry more weight however, if this country were itself doing more.

Tony Walker, and environmental professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, says there are a few local efforts to reduce plastics like a ban on thin plastic bags in Montreal, but no overall federal plan.

He says Canada has federal bans on plastic microbeads, one of which will come into effect in June, but still lags behind many other countries which already have various national policies and plans to reduce or ban single use plastic drink containers, straws, plates, grocery bags etc.

Additional information –sources

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Economy, Environment, International, Politics, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


One comment on “Canada proposes international plastics reform
  1. Peter Ashcroft says:

    There are so many forms of plastic, each with its own shelf-life.
    This must be reduced, dependent on the use factor of plastic products concerned.
    This is not a ‘one size fits all’ problem.
    Research, and future development, is necessary.