Dozens of environmental groups say if Canada desires to be a frontrunner in getting the remaining of the world to kick its plastics habit, it has to begin by setting the bar for recycling plastics far higher at home.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants this week’s G7 leaders summit in Quebec to incorporate the signing of an anti-plastics charter, setting international targets to chop down on using plastics and finding ways to incorporate more recycled materials within the plastics we do use.
Estimates show as much as 10 million tonnes of plastic garbage leads to the oceans annually, and across the oceans there are multiple islands of trash, including one within the Pacific that rivals the dimensions of the province of Quebec.
The G7 plastics strategy is to have 4 most important components: targets for reducing the quantity of plastic waste produced all over the world, domestic strategies to fulfill those targets, working with industry to develop higher products to switch plastic or make plastics more easily recyclable, and assistance for the developing world to adapt higher waste management.
But Canada goes into the G7 with out a national plan to deal with plastics, and greater than 40 non-governmental organizations released a declaration on Monday calling on Trudeau to set national targets for a way much plastic Canadians should recycle and what number of recent products must be constituted of recycled materials.
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“We’re difficult the Canadian government to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous governments, municipalities, to place together a plan to be certain that Canada achieves zero plastic waste,” said Ashley Wallis, program manager at Environmental Defence, one in every of the organizations that signed the declaration.
By 2025, the groups want Canada to extend its plastic recycling rate so 85 per cent of single-use plastic items like water bottles and take-out containers are recycled. Currently Canadians recycle about 11 per cent of all plastics. In addition they want Canada to implement a rule requiring all single-use plastics to be made from not less than 75 per cent recycled material.
Other items on their list are laws to require producers of plastics to pay to gather and recycle the plastic they produce, and a regulation to ban any plastics or additives to plastics which might be toxic or difficult to recycle. In addition they want Canada to implement policies for federal procurement that require anyone selling or providing a service to the federal government has a plan to get well all plastics used, and that the plastics used contain not less than 75 per cent recycled content.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna launched consultations for a national plastics strategy in April, but has set no deadlines for when one is perhaps produced. Wallis said having not less than an overview of Canada’s domestic plans by the point McKenna hosts G7 environment ministers in September would allow Canada to credibly consider itself a frontrunner on this file.
McKenna has previously said establishing a national strategy is complicated by the actual fact recycling and waste are often governed by provincial laws and carried out by municipalities. Wallis noted Canada overcame similar issues for climate change by developing a national framework and setting national targets after which allowing provinces the room to develop local policies that may meet those targets.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities echoed that sentiment Saturday when municipal leaders voted in favour of a resolution calling for a national plastics strategy, including setting targets to assist reduce the quantity of plastic that leads to there.
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