Canada Outlaws Plastic Straws

( Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, announced this week that all plastic straws and bags would be banned throughout the country.

This week, he made the announcement on social media, writing:

“We promised to ban harmful single-use plastics, and we’re keeping that promise. The ban on the making and importing of plastic bags, cutlery, straws and other items comes into effect in December 2022 — and selling these items is prohibited as of December 2023.”

There are only “some exceptions” to the ban on single-use items made of plastic, according to a press release sent by the prime minister’s office. Trudeau estimates that this ban will prevent up to 1.3 million tons of plastic waste being created over the next 10 years.

Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change, recently commented:

“By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics. After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or reusable bags. With these new regulations, we’re taking a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution, and keeping our communities and the places we love clean.

Some parts of the United States have enacted similar bans in recent years, though the country as a whole doesn’t have a ban on them. Earlier this year, plastic bags were banned in the city of Philadelphia, while the state of New Jersey started enforcing a similar measure in May.

Back in 2019, San Francisco passed a ban on all plastic cutlery and straws. As the spokesman for the city’s Department of Environment, said back in 2018:

“It’s a movement not just happening in San Francisco but nationally and internationally. The largest elephant in the room is the single-use disposable culture we find ourselves in, and straws are the epitome of this unnecessary daily waste.”

Canada is often criticized for taking some drastic steps to impose ultra-liberal policies. One such recent incident was when Trudeau announced there would be a “national freeze” on people being able to own guns, following the school shooting in Texas that left 19 elementary school students and two teachers dead.

As Trudeau explained at the time:

“What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada. In other words, we’re capping the market for handguns.”

The prime minister made headlines earlier in the year when he utilized emergency powers he has to discourage participants and organizers of the protest known as the Freedom Convoy. That movement involved truckers and some citizens who opposed the public health restrictions and vaccine mandates that Canada had put into place during the pandemic.

At the time, Trudeau even accused American people of encouraging the Freedom Convoy movement. He commented at the time:

“President [Joe] Biden and I both agreed that for the security of people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue. So, make no mistake: the border cannot, and will not stay closed.”v