Statement: Canada announces comprehensive single-use plastics ban effective 2021, eclipsing US commitments

Media Contacts
Olivia Sullivan


OTTAWA, Ontario– Aiming for zero plastic waste by 2030, the Canadian government announced Wednesday its plans to ban some of the most harmful single-use plastics by the end of 2021. Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson issued a statement, announcing six plastic items that will be included in the ban: plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, and plastic cutlery.  

Single-use plastic accounts for roughly 50% of all the plastic thrown away each year in Canada.  The long-lasting solid material waste commonly litters oceans, waterways and natural places, where it threatens wildlife and human health. The single-use plastic items targeted by the ban are some of the most common items found as marine debris.  

In response, Olivia Sullivan, U.S. PIRG’s Zero Waste Associate, issued the following statement:

“It’s great to see the Canadian government leading by example. Banning unnecessary single-use plastics stops pollution at the source, and it’s the best way we can ensure that items we use for only a few minutes don’t pollute our planet for hundreds of years to come. We should aspire to do the same.”

Reino Hyppa, Oceans Associate at Environment America, issued the following statement: 

“By banning the worst forms of single-use plastic, it’s clear that Canada is committed to protecting its vast coastlines. Plastic straws, grocery bags and the other single-use plastics the Canadian government plans to ban are some of the most common items found in beach clean-ups around the world, and are putting our whales, dolphins and sea turtles at risk. I hope this decision by our northern neighbors inspires our leaders to take action to put wildlife over waste.”