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Prohibiting Single-Use Plastic

Let's celebrate another win for waste reduction.

All countries in the European Union are prohibiting single-use plastic in exactly one year (July 3, 2021). That's right! For many Europeans, this means no more using and throwing away a plastic coffee stir stick after 10 seconds, and no more grabbing the plastic cutlery out of takeout bags to immediately throw in the trash.

Can you guess how much plastic waste Canadians throw away every year? It's over three million tonnes. And 91% of our plastic waste goes to our landfills or litters our environment. Plastics are showing up in the stomachs of birds all over the world, and some Manitoba scientists say they have seen this here as well.

Last year in June, the Government of Canada said it is working to ban harmful single-use plastic as early as 2021 (the second phase of this legislation is supposed to come out this year).

Removing or reducing single-use plastic is an essential step in reducing waste. Plastic cutlery, takeout containers, and plastic water bottles are often unnecessary and can typically be easily substituted for more eco-friendly options.

Each of us has a responsibility to make good choices that help preserve the places we love and the waterways we rely on for clean water.

You can help by:

  • Choosing reusable goods such as travel mugs, water bottles, shopping bags, and cutlery

  • Saying no to plastic bags, cutlery, and individually wrapped condiments when you don't really need them

  • Washing and reusing the plastic take out containers your food comes in

  • Picking up litter when you are out, or organizing a (socially-distanced) neighbourhood cleanup

Visit to learn more ways you can make easy changes to do your part to reduce the pollution in our lakes.

See 10,000 Changes Website to learn more about Canada's use of plastics and commit to making a change.

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