Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 10, 2019, that the federal government plans to ban single-use plastics, which could include single-use shopping bags, plates, stir sticks, straws, and cutlery as early as 2021. A comprehensive list of banned items is yet to be released. Furthermore, the federal government will work with provinces and territories to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility standards and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging, to become responsible for their plastic wastes.
Curious what Albertans think about this idea? Many Albertans have share their opinions on Alberta@Noon on June 11, 2019, even how to clean kitty litter without plastic bags.
AUMA is pleased to hear that the federal government is taking actions on single-use plastics and recognizing that Canada needs Extended Producer Responsibility programs. Many Alberta municipalities already ban single-use plastics. For example, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo enacted the Single-Use Shopping Bag Bylaw in 2010 and, more recently the City of Wetaskiwin banned the use of single-use plastics in the municipality.
Going forward, AUMA will continue to champion the need to have an EPR paper and packaging program in Alberta, which the province urgently needs. We will be working closely with the provincial and federal governments on developing the single-use plastics ban regulations and EPR standards. Municipalities want to be partners in developing these policies and the ban must be based on common sense. If you want to see Alberta Environment and Parks enact more recycling programs, you can do so by sending a letter to your Member of the Legislative Assembly. Here is a template letter that you can use.