Canada’s most populous province is exploring a ban on plastic straws and other single use plastics such as plastic untensils like those often found in fast food outlets.
A document was released this week called, Reducing Litter and Waste in Our Communities: Discussion Paper.
The provincial government is also considering a deposit system on all drink containers similar to the current system for beer and wine bottles and soft drink aluminium cans. Deposit systems are in place to varying degrees in the other provinces. In Alberta for example, its all containers, while in Quebec soft drink tins and beer bottles are in the deposit system, but not wine bottles.
A deposit system means that for example, ten cents is added on to the price at purchase, but refunded when the empty container is returned for recycling.
- RCI: Jan 2019: invidual recycling little effect
- RCI: Oct 2018: plastic waste-naming companies
- RCI: Oct 2018: Canada only recycles 11% of plastic
- RCI: Apr 2018: microplastic in the Arctic
The discussion paper indicates that as much as 10-thousand tonnes of plastic enters the Great Lakes each year. It also says each person generates about a tonne of waste annually, and recycling and composted only diverts about 30 per cent from landfills and that percentage hasn’t really improved in over a decade, while recycling only captures about 28 per cent of plastics.
The UN has launched a war on plastic pollution with its #CleanSeas campaign noting that more than 8 million tonnes of plastics gets into the world’s oceans every year.
YouTube: 2015, plastic straw removed from sea turtle nose (strong language, graphic image)
Environmentalists applaud the move towards banning plastic straws and cutlery but say it’s important to realise that this is only one small step in a much larger issue.
The Ontario Government is seeking input on the report until April 20
Additional information- sources