This ban would include any and all plastic items which are meant to be used only one time, including bags, cutlery, and straws.
Banning single-use plastics is meant to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment. Plastics are regularly found damaging land and marine ecosystems around the world. The synthetic polymers used to make plastic aren’t biodegradable, meaning they don’t decompose with enough speed. A plastic bag can take anywhere from 10-1,000 years to decompose, depending on other conditions, but it typically takes a plastic bag over 400 years to biodegrade. This figure grows worse with other forms of plastic as well, as plastic bottles typically take upwards of 450 years to decompose.
During the time that plastic takes to decompose, the stray plastic causes chaos and widespread death in various ecosystems. “Plastic waste ends up in our landfills and incinerators, litters our parks and beaches, and pollutes our rivers, lakes, and oceans, entangling and killing turtles, fish, and marine mammals,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau went on to explain that only 10% of Canada’s plastic waste gets recycled, meaning that if things don’t change, Canadians will throw away approximately $11 billion in plastics every year by 2030.
Plastics have long served the purpose of providing cheap yet strong and reliable storage. In recent decades we’ve come to discover several problems associated with plastic use on our health and our environment. Plastics have been taking a particularly heavy toll on marine life, killing whales, sea turtles, and birds at startling rates. A report by the European Commission revealed that 80% of the litter in the ocean is plastic, and unfortunately most of that plastic won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, apart from the insides of sea animals.