Annually, we produce millions of tons of plastic waste, and single use plastic contributes a huge part of it. Only less than 30% of it is being recycled, which means that more than 70% of our plastic waste either go to the ocean or being piled up in landslides.
However, day by day more and more people realize that we are producing too much plastic waste. Many are personally avoiding the use of plastic on their own behalf. But this is more than just a personal business, we need bigger power if we want more dramatic change.
Luckily, many bigger bodies are having the same view as those people. The positive trend of banning single use plastic is spreading all around the world. The reason is no other than the widespread of knowledge about the harms single use plastic can cause to our environment all around this planet.
Will Canada’s decision to ban single use plastic bring much difference? Here in this article we are going to talk about it.
The Obvious Reason
Plastic is harmful to the environment, and we all already know it. But even though we have the knowledge about the effect, we cannot do much to lessen the harms. As said above, we need bigger force to make this strike count.
We are all fed up with the news of plastic littering the ocean, strangling marine creatures, and turn into microplastic. “You’ve all heard the stories and seen the photos. To be honest, as a dad it is tough trying to explain this to my kids,” said Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau to National Geographic.
“How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches across the world, their stomachs jam packed with plastic bags? How do I tell them that against all odds, you will find plastic at the very deepest point in the Pacific Ocean?” Trudeau continued.
Plastic waste is indeed a serious concern for the country. Not because they are the biggest plastic waste producer, but because they are the country with the longest coastline and the owner of a quarter of the world’s fresh water.
As we already know, plastic waste problem hits hard when combined with water resources. Decision made by Canada to protect their, and also this earth’s, water resources is the right step to take. That statement is pretty much the sum up of our plastic waste problem, and their decision to ban single use plastic might be the answer for the problem.
Canada’s official announcement of plan to ban single use plastic makes them belong to more than 60 other countries which have come out with similar plan first. Those countries are planning to impose complete ban or expensive taxes toward the use of single use plastic.
In example, Europe has started the positive trend by announcing themselves to ban single use plastic starting from 2021. The kind of plastic products that European commission is planning to ban includes cotton buds, plastic cups, takeout foam, and many others.
In addition to that, EU has taken the plan further by calling for 90% of plastic bottle to be recycled by 2025. Same decision was made by the most populated country in the world, India, which is going to completely ban single use plastic by 2022.
First step that the country is going to do is researching for what kind of items that they should ban first. Later on, the law will grow and Trudeau said that the plan is to completely ban other kind of plastic products that can produce waste.
Canada’s decision to ban single use plastic is pretty much similar to other countries’, with an addition to create nationwide strategy for zero plastic waste. In this step, Trudeau stated that he will work directly with the ministry of environment by giving supports effort to make it really happen.
For The Kids In Canada
Plastic waste is not an adult thing nowadays, since even our kids can already witness the impacts of it. We can see it from how taking our kids to parks and beaches is not as joyful as before, because of plastic waste. “People have had enough of seeing their parks and beaches covered with plastic,” Trudeau said.
The country basically didn’t want our kids’ beautiful memories of playing in those places be interrupted with the presence of plastic, dead strangled birds or dead fish killed by pollution. We all know it well that plastic waste has contaminated those places at alarming rate.
“As parents we’re at a point when 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. That’s a problem, one that we have to do something about,” Trudeau said.
But Canada’s plan to ban single use plastic benefits our kids much more than just unobstructed beautiful memory of the beach. The government of Canada said that the plan is stimulating the economy too by creating about 42,000 jobs.
Who knows that someday one of our children will play an important part in saving the world from plastic waste by enrolling for one of those 42,000 job opening? Don’t forget that it is just the beginning of bigger thing, which means that more good opportunities are still coming.
Even though this plan seems like a great idea, but some environmentalist experts said that there is a gap in the plan that could lead to potential miss. Thus, the experts urge that the government should really pay attention to what they are doing in this case.
“I am, like a lot of scientists, excited, with a lot of caveats. They say (the bans are) going to be science-based, which is great. But my question is, ‘what science?’” as Max Liboiron, environmental scientist at Memorial University in Newfoundland, said.
Science is indeed a strong basis for the law. However, if it is not strong enough, people will find the gaps in no time to make themselves able to avoid the law. In this case, the new law would not be as great as expected.
“Anytime you make a policy, somebody can come up with a legitimate, reasonable exception to that policy in about 30 seconds. I have to wonder if incentives would get us most of the way there without these exceptions,” environmental engineer Morton Barlaz of North Carolina State University stated.
Liboiron stated that there is an alternative to the ban which will pretty much produce the same final product: reducing Canada oil subsidies. Oil is the source of all petroleum-based plastic, and the increase in oil prices will reduce the cost-effectiveness of single-use plastic. Is it the better option?