Plastic straws and cutlery to be scrapped in Canada, Justin Trudeau announces

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Canada plans to ban some single-use plastics like straws, bags and cutlery by early 2021 to reduce non-recyclable waste and protect the world's oceans, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says.

Less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and Canadians will throw away an estimated $C11 billion ($NZ12.5 billion) worth of plastic materials each year by 2030 without a change in course, the government said in a statement.

Trudeau said Monday the government will determine what is to be banned using a science-based review, but is considering bans on things such as water bottles, plastic bags and straws.

At the moment, Canada is only recycling 10% of their plastic waste.

More than 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are annually injured or die when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled in the substance, the Canadian government said. Its move follows those of the European Parliament, which voted this year to ban several single-use plastic products.

"To be honest, as a dad, it's tough trying to explain this to my kids".

In April, a carcass of a pregnant sperm whale washed up in Italy with 22 kilograms (49 pounds) of plastic in its stomach.

Canada's biggest advantage as a producer of plastics is its abundant cheap natural gas feedstock and that won't change under the proposed ban, said Ashish Chitalia, principal analyst for polyolefins for consultancy Wood Mackenzie. "Against all odds, you will find plastic at the very deepest point of the Pacific Ocean".

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the measures Monday, describing "a problem we simply can't ignore".

Canada's ban on items such as plastic bags and straws will be aligned with similar measures that the European Union and other countries have adopted, the government said. The list will be refined based on further scientific research between now and 2021.

Trudeau said his government will work with companies that use or create plastic products to set targets on waste.

The United States and Japan did not join the pact.

The ban could mean less raw plastic is imported from the Eastern Canada manufacturers and more raw plastic is exported from Western Canada around the globe, he added.

In March this year, City of Hobart councillors voted in favour of a by-law to support the ban and impose fines on those that don't comply.

In the ACT, there is a proposal to ban a range of single-use plastics, as the territory tries to step up its efforts to reduce landfill. 15 billion plastic bags a year.

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