Prime Minister Trudeau: Canada Will Ban Single-Use Plastics in 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that Canada will begin banning all single-use plastics in 2021. Trudeau said Canada had a unique opportunity to take the lead as the country with the world's longest coastline. Straws, plastic bags, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks would be among the items banned, a government statement said.

“I am very pleased to announce that as early as 2021 Canada will ban harmful, single-use plastics from coast to coast,” Trudeau said. Less than 10 percent of plastics are currently recycled in Canada, according to the prime minister.

At current rates, plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Hundreds of thousands of seabirds ingest plastic every year, according to the Center. Ingesting plastic reduces bird's stomach volume, causing starvation. “To be honest as a dad it is tough trying to explain to my kids,” Trudeau said. “How do you explain dead whales washing up on beaches across the world, their stomachs jam packed with plastic bags? How do I tell them that against all odds, you will find plastic at the very deepest point of the Pacific Ocean.”