End Plastics

Canada’s Ban on Single-Use Plastics

In 2021, Canada produced a total of 23,587 tons of mismanaged plastic waste (MPW). This number, in comparison to the U.S’s 267,469 tons MPW, may not seem like a lot, but in reality, any and all efforts to reduce plastic pollution are crucial in fighting climate change. 

Currently, Canada’s plastic waste management lacks in various areas. Almost 86% of plastic produced in Canada ends up in landfills which ultimately creates a great economic loss of nearly 8 billion Canadian dollars.

This past June, Canada decided it was time to take action to improve their current plastic crisis. Given the geographic location of Canada, with the longest coastline in the world, they have an even larger impact on wildlife/marine life and the overall health of our oceans. After years of growing concern for the health and safety of their people and environment, the Canadian government introduced a monumental plastic ban. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to reduce Canada’s plastic footprint back in 2019. Despite the fact that the coronavirus put a hold on this goal, Canada’s Prime Minister remains hopeful that this ban will drastically improve the state of our current plastic pollution issue. 

According to the new regulations, Canada will soon ban all single-use plastic products including grocery bags, cutlery, and straws with an exception made for various necessary medical supplies. 

As a broad overview, this is the timeline for Canada’s new plastic ban:

  • A ban on the manufacturing and importation of single-use plastic by December 2022
  • The prompt end to sales on single-use plastic products by the year 2023
  • Prohibited export of single-use plastic products by 2025

Various plastic producing companies pushed back on the Canadian EPA’s decision to name plastics as a toxic material, but the single-use plastic ban was put in place despite these views.

While Canada isn’t even part of the top 10 list for plastic waste producers, this ban lays out the footprint for what other countries can and should do in order to reduce their plastic pollution. 

Looking at a more global perspective on plastic pollution, a couple of other countries have introduced a single-use plastic ban, but Canada’s ban seems to be unique. Canada’s ban on single-use plastics is much more fast-paced and strict than others in addition to it being a country wide ban. These characteristics make the Canadian government hopeful that a real impact will be made in only a few years time. 

Canada can’t work alone in their efforts and the United Nations Environmental Assembly has noticed the dire need for a more global approach to plastic pollution. Given this need, the UNEA has drafted an international legally binding agreement in order to place standardized regulations on plastic products. 

To learn more about this global treaty, visit and sign our petition. Calculating your plastic footprint is another great way to see how you can help in our fight against plastic pollution. To discover more shocking facts about single-use plastics, visit our Fact sheet and tips on how to take action.