December 2nd, 2020
Canada Shows Leadership on Phase Out of Single-Use Plastics
Canada recently announced it will phase out and end nationwide use of plastic grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery and food containers made from hard-to-recycle plastics by the end of 2021. This action is part of a broader initiative to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. Canada is planning for the provision of readily available alternative products to combat single-use plastics that are consistently and increasingly contaminating all parts of the globe.
Canada’s announcement comes amid reports of waning public support for the crackdown in light of the health and safety protections associated with disposable plastics in the age of coronavirus. Nevertheless, single-use plastics make up most of the plastic litter found in Canada's freshwater environments, according to the government. Microplastics, the tiny byproducts of plastic degradation, act as a transport mechanism for toxic chemicals such as DDT and Hexachlorobenzene. Consumption of microplastics over a long period of time can change our human DNA in ways that can cause infertility, obesity and cancer.
Data reveals there are currently over 85,000 manufactured chemicals and phthalates found in plastics and other consumer products. Thousands of these are endocrine disrupting chemicals that wreak havoc on our hormonal systems and that have triggered rising levels of abnormal development and illnesses over the course of the last fifty years, including everything from stunted fertility and male/female sex malformations to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart attacks and cognitive, behavioral and other brain-related problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Even with the current challenges, Canada’s move will significantly aid the health and well-being of all its citizens. Other countries would do well to enact similar reforms before it’s too late. If you support a substation of single-use plastics with recyclable, safer alternatives you should contact your state and federal legislators and lend your voice to the cause. And if you believe you have been harmed by exposure to microplastics, you should contact an experienced law firm like Bordas & Bordas right away to explore your rights.