Single-use plastics will be banned by 2021, Trudeau announces

Canada will ban single-use plastics from 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday, declaring it a "global challenge" to phase out the bottles, straws and plastic bags clogging the world's oceans.

The prime minister also said it's "tough trying to explain" to his children why "dead whales [are] washing up on beaches around the world, their stomachs jam-packed with plastic bags", Reuters reported. Trudeau stated that his government is now researching which items should be banned while confirming that Canada would follow the model laid out by the European Union.

"People around the world are grappling with this every day", Trudeau said.

A full list of banned items isn't yet set in stone, but a government source told CBC News that list could include items like plastic straws, cotton swabs, drink stirrers, plates, cutlery and balloon sticks.

"As parents, we're at a point where we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn't littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles", he said. The list will be refined based on further scientific research between now and 2021.

He also revealed intentions to make companies that manufacture plastic products or sell them to take responsibility for recycling their plastic waste.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Union signed on to the Ocean Plastics charter at the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., last June, agreeing to find ways to deal with marine plastics litter.

In Alberta, the government of former Premier Rachel Notley pledged incentives for companies that built chemical plants to create jobs and wean the province off its dependence on fossil-fuel exports.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, Monday's announcement marks the first step to initiating a nationwide ban of single-use plastics in Canada.

But Trudeau said a "national solution" was needed.

Less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled, and without any change in habits, Canadians will be throwing out $11 billion worth of plastic products by 2030.