Plastics are seen being gathered for recycling at a depot in North Vancouver on June, 10, 2019. Environment Canada is releasing scientific evidence today to back up the government’s bid to ban most single-use plastics next year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June the government was getting ready to prohibit the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as drinking straws, takeout containers and plastic cutlery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Environment Canada to release science review backing need for plastics ban

In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the trash

Environment Canada is releasing scientific evidence today to back up the government’s bid to ban most single-use plastics next year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June the government was getting ready to prohibit the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as drinking straws, takeout containers and plastic cutlery.

The first step in the process requires a scientific assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Today, Environment Canada officials will release the results of that work.

A recent audit of Canada’s plastic production and recycling industries done for the department found less than 10 per cent of the plastic products used in Canada are recycled.

In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the trash — 12 times the amount of plastic that was recycled.

A small amount of plastics is burned for energy at five Canadian waste-to-energy plants.

Almost 90 per cent of the plastic recycled in Canada is from packaging.

Canada’s domestic recycling industry is quite small, with fewer than a dozen companies. Most of Canada’s plastics destined for recycling end up overseas, where tracking what happens to them is difficult. Many end up being burned or thrown into trash piles somewhere else.

The audit found it is usually cheaper and easier to produce new plastic and throw it away than it is to recycle, reuse or repair it.

In 2018, when Canada hosted the G7 leaders’ summit, Canada and four other leading economies signed a charter pledging that by 2040 all plastic produced in their countries would be reused, recycled or burned to produce energy. The United States and Japan stayed out.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trucking company fined $175K for Lemon Creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Missing Nelson woman found dead

Police say there is no evidence of a crime in the death of Heather Gunderson

Foul play involved in Slocan Valley man’s death, police say

RCMP have identified dead man as 47-year-old Aaron Graham

Details emerge on new daycare proposal from school district

Project gets go-ahead from board of SD #10

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Most Read