Steven Guilbeault hopes to ban six single-use plastic items in 2022

The days are numbered in Canada for plastic grocery bags and polystyrene take-out containers.

The federal government released proposed regulations that would ban the manufacture, import and sale of six single-use plastic items that are difficult to recycle and could be replaced with items that are less harmful to the environment.

The proposed federal regulations aim to eliminate the following plastic items from the daily lives of Canadians: shopping bags, utensils, food containers made from “problematic plastics”, rings that connect six cans or bottles , small coffee sticks and straws.

The proposed regulation provides an exception for patients and people with certain disabilities who need flexible single-use plastic straws in order to eat, drink or take medicine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said more than 18 months ago that some single-use plastic items would be phased out by 2021, but the pandemic has delayed in Ottawa the assessment of which items to target first.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said the process of developing interim and final regulations should now allow the ban to come into effect in Canada by the end of 2022.

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