Canada’s single-use plastics ban singles out food service, says Restaurants Canada
By Canadian PizzaNews Business and Operations sustainability
Quebec City – The federal government has published final regulations to prohibit single-use plastics including check-out bags, cutlery, food-service ware made from or containing hard-to-recycle plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws (with some exceptions).
On June 20, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, and the Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced the published final regulations.
The ban on manufacturing and importing these single-use plastics, barring a few targeted exceptions to recognize specific cases, will come into effect in December 2022.
The sale of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023. The government indicated that they do not intend to add any additional items to the list of six.
The full press release can be found here.
Reaction from Restaurants Canada
Restaurants Canada is concerned that this announcement and timeline is placing added pressure on the food-service industry as it continues to struggle and rebuild following the pandemic.
The organization said in a statement: “Single-use items pose a unique challenge for foodservice operators, as Canadians are increasingly turning to delivery and takeout. While on-premise dining still accounts for most foodservice sales nationwide, on-premise sales have been losing market share to takeout and delivery orders.”
In removing single-use plastics from the market without enough affordable and sustainable replacement options in place, Restaurants Canada estimated the industry will take on an estimated 125 per cent increase in costs. This does not account for the costs associated with the increased demand for such products resulting in supply shortages.
Restaurants Canada said in a news release it would have appreciated a more gradual, phased-in approach to new plastics regulations, to give restaurant operators time to source safe and cost-effective packaging alternatives, and give manufacturers time to produce them.
“Above all, Restaurants Canada will continue to call for ‘do no harm’ approach to any new government policies impacting foodservice operations as our members continue to focus on survival and recovery from the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work closely with the government to ensure our concerns are recognized.”
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