Manufacturing, importing straws and other single-use plastics now banned

OTTAWA — Canada’s ban on the manufacture and import for sale of some plastic items, including grocery bags and straws, has taken effect.

As of today, companies can no longer produce or bring into Canada plastic checkout bags, cutlery, stir sticks, straws and takeout containers — and in a year, it will also be illegal to sell them.

The manufacturing and import ban will extend to the plastic rings used to package six-packs of canned drinks next June and their sale will be prohibited a year after that.

The federal government estimates that getting rid of the single-use plastics will eliminate 1.3 million tonnes of difficult-to-recycle plastic waste and a million garbage bags’ worth of pollution.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in 2019 that a ban would take effect by 2021, but it took the government a year longer to figure out a regulatory framework to make it happen.

Statistics published last month suggested that Canadians were already cutting back on using items such as straws and plastic bags ahead of the national ban.