Canada announced that it will ban the manufacturing and import of a number of "harmful" single-use plastics, with several new regulations coming into place in December.
The new rules, announced Monday, will apply to checkout bags, utensils, food-service products with plastic that is difficult to recycle, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws with some exceptions, the government announced in a release.
"This morning, our government announced that the ban on the making and importing of plastic checkout bags, cutlery, straws and other items comes into effect in December 2022 – and selling these items is prohibited as of December 2023.," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the development in his social media.
"Over the next 10 years, this ban will result in the estimated elimination of over 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution. That's equal to a million garbage bags full of litter," he added.
The sale of such items will be prohibited starting in December 2023, a buffer period meant to give businesses time to adjust to the changes and wind down their existing supplies.
The government will also ban the export of six plastics by the end of 2025.
Canada uses 15 billion plastic checkout bags per year, and 16 million straws per day, the government said.
A recent report by the UN has said that the global use of plastics is expected to triple by 2060, and the annual production of fossil fuel-based plastics set to hit more than 1.2 billion tonnes by the same year. The waste created by such levels of production would be more than 1 billion tonnes per year.
In the last 70 years, the world has produced about 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, 60 percent of which has been discarded in landfills, oceans, and rivers, or burned.