Local Green MP gives Grits a B- on plastic ban

By Casey Taylor

One of only two Green Party MPs in the House of Commons says the federal government's plan to ban certain hard-to-recycle and single-use plastics deserves a passing grade, but adds more could be being done and quicker.

The country's environment minister announced on Monday a plan that would ban the import, sale, and export of some plastics by the end of 2025. It would start by banning companies from importing or making the products themselves by the end of this year and ban their sale by the end of next year.

Green MP Mike Morrice said this is a step in the right direction.

“We produce across the country four million tonnes a year, that's 8,000 tonnes a day in landfills and incinerators or, worst of all, in the natural environment,” said Morrice, MP for Kitchener-Centre. “We're one of the top per-capita users of plastic in the world.”

The Prime Minister first promised this ban in June 2019 and, at the time, said it would take effect in 2021. That was delayed though by the pandemic and Morrice said any further delay will mean billions more of these items in our trash.

“As many as 32 billion more plastic bags, six billion straws, 1.6 billion take-out containers could be thrown away as a result of waiting as long as they're proposing waiting,” Morrice said.

Morrice said he'd also like to see the Liberals cast a wider net.

“We wish they would encourage and include more items in the list knowing that, if you only include six or so, we're going to miss out on a whole lot,” he said.

“It is a step in the right direction though, I'm glad they are moving ahead so a 'B' or 'B-minus' but it's important that we keep pushing them to move faster.”

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