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For a couple of years now, there have been discussions about plastic harming the environment. Various measures have been taken in the past in the name of ‘Environmental Protection. However, recently there was a ‘Bold Message’ sent to the plastic industry.
Under the CEPA (Canadian Environmental Protection Act), plastic items are now considered toxic. The decision of listing plastics under CEPA was a bold decision that can happen even where there were various blocking attempts from the industry lobbying groups. Eventually, paving the proposal raised by the government to ban multiple single-use items.
CEPA, through this decision, gave a strong reply to the plastic industry. The government sent a robust communication to the plastic industry claiming that ‘Plastic has been harming the environment, and the government is not in any state of bowing down to any pressure.’ This is a critical step towards environmental protection. It is a key that will now unblock possibilities to help the government tackle plastic pollution.
Listing of plastic as toxic came after conducting an assessment on the pollution levels created by plastic. There was plenty of evidence that directly claimed how plastic directly harms the environment, wildlife, and sea life. Therefore, any plastic which poses a threat to the ecosystem, human health, or biodiversity can be considered toxic.
At the moment, annually, approximately 3.3 million plastic is consumed in Canada, and only 10% gets recycled. The remaining 90% of the plastic goes to the landfills, on the incineration sites, or majorly been left to the contaminated lakes, rivers, and oceans, which causes terrible pollution to the environment.
Currently, the plastic industry stands at US$29 billion, and it has been known that the industry is funding various lobbying groups to try and block the move, but eventually, this decision is a big move and a win against the plastic industry.
Ottawa had earlier proposed to implement a ban on a total of 6 single-use plastic items. However, as per the government, there is a huge net of plastic products in the band, and eventually, the government has deemed all of these products as toxic. Therefore, there have been advocates for even a further comprehensive ban, including items found commonly in the outside environment such as cups, bottles, liquids, caps, containers, cigarette plastic filters, wrappers, styrofoam, etc.
In the current times, it feels as if we are surrounded by plastic, as we can find plastic literally in our day-to-day activities, such as in the food we consume, the air that we breathe, and the water that we drink. Hence, the decision of the federal government to declare plastic as ‘Toxic’ was much needed, as it was the need of the hour. Governments should also stop funding even the slightest amount to the plastic industry.
There is a need to come up with innovative newer systems, which reduce the dependency on plastic items for good.
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