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Canadians want federal government to ban more than 6 plastic items, survey suggests


Toronto – New polling results from Abacus Data commissioned by Oceana Canada suggest 95 per cent of Canadians are concerned about the impact plastic pollution has on our oceans.

The federal government’s proposed ban on six single-use plastics covers only a fraction of one per cent of the plastic products we use, according to Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“Canada has an opportunity to lead in the fight to end the global plastic disaster. There is public appetite for stronger federal action. Now is the time to meaningfully reduce plastic production and use, including banning more of the unnecessary and harmful single-use plastics that are choking our life-sustaining oceans,” said Oceana Canada plastic campaigner Ashley Wallis in a news release.

According to the poll, 88 per cent of Canadians feel surprised, angry, guilty and/or helpless to learn that less than nine per cent of Canada’s plastic waste is recycled and that the majority is sent to landfills or incinerators.

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Two-thirds of Canadians polled support expanding the ban to other harmful plastics products, including hot and cold drink cups, cigarette filters, and all forms of polystyrene (Styrofoam). According to Oceana Canada: “These items – and many others – are commonly found littered in the environment and polluting our waterways, yet they are missing from the proposed ban list. This is despite recent scientific modelling confirming we need to significantly reduce plastic waste generation – not just increase recycling – if we want to have a fighting chance of curbing the fatal flow of plastic into our waterways.”

The organization, which commissioned the survey, is calling on the Canadian government to:

  • expand the ban list to include additional problematic plastic items, resins and material types
  • create a science-based methodology to determine which plastic products should be banned
  • establish pre- and post-consumption targets that contribute to a defined goal and environmental objective
  • require Extended Producer Responsibility and establish high diversion targets and recycled content requirements
  • enforce penalties that are stringent enough to motivate compliance