Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the measures Monday, describing “a problem we simply can’t ignore.”
“Plastic waste ends up in our landfills and incinerators, litters our parks and beaches, and pollutes our rivers, lakes, and oceans, entangling and killing turtles, fish, and marine mammals,” the Canadian leader said in a statement.
“Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. Without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated $11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.”
According to the Canadian government, every year 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die when they mistake plastic for food.
Globally, a truckload of plastic waste enters the ocean every minute, the statement said.
Trudeau said his government will work with companies that use or create plastic products to set targets on waste.
Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna said it is time to act.
“We’ve all seen the disturbing images of fish, sea turtles, whales, and other wildlife being injured or dying because of plastic garbage in our oceans,” she said.
Despite the goodwill from countries like Canada and the UK, serious questions remain over how the mass of plastic used daily around the world will be recycled properly.