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Canada will ban companies from importing or manufacturing plastic bags by the end of this year

The Canadian Government is going to ban companies from importing or making plastic bags and Styrofoam takeout containers by the end of this year. The country is also banning their sale by the end of next year and their export by the end of 2025. Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced the dates Monday.

Canada previously announced a ban on plastic, however, environment advocates were dismayed about delays. In addition to bags and takeout boxes, the ban will affect plastic straws, bags, cutlery, stir sticks and six-pack rings that hold cans and bottles.

The federal government listed plastics as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act last year. However, a consortium of plastic producers is suing the government over the toxic designation in a case expected to be heard later this year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first promised in June 2019 that his government would phase out the production and use of hard-to-recycle plastic items as it aims for zero plastic waste by the end of the decade. Initially, he said, the ban would happen in 2021, but the scientific assessment of plastics that was needed to put the ban in motion was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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