The federal government will announce a plan today to ban harmful single-use plastics like drinking straws as early as 2021.

No list of banned products will be unfurled immediately, two government officials with knowledge of the initiative said Sunday.

Rather, the Liberals want to look at the empirical evidence and do their own research to determine which products should be outlawed to help reduce the millions of tons of plastic waste that ends up in oceans each year.

The idea is to come up with a comprehensive plan to prohibit the production and sale of specific, toxic plastic products within a couple of years.

"Where the best solution is to ban, it will be banned," said one official familiar with the plan.

Details will be announced today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in Toronto and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Jonathan Wilkinson in British Columbia.

At the last G7 summit, Canada and four other leading economies signed a charter pledging that by 2040 all plastic produced in their countries will be reused, recycled or burned to produce energy. (The United States and Japan stayed out.)

The proliferation of single-use plastic packaging like water bottles, drinking straws and food wrapping is sending massive amounts of plastic to landfills. More blows into waterways and drifts to the sea. Giant reefs of plastic are showing up in the oceans and fish and sea mammals are eating plastic objects thinking they're food.

Canada, with the longest coastline in the world, has an important role to play internationally, another official said. "I think people really want to see us take some real action."

The Canadian Press granted the government sources anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly prior to the announcement.

"Nothing's happening overnight. But we're announcing the intention to get there as early as 2021," one of the officials said.

"We're not specifically listing products. We're going to be looking at the best evidence that's out there and conducting studies to determine what the products are that make sense."

However, plastic straws and foam food containers are the sort of items that could be banned.

"We want to make sure we get it right, and there are adverse effects on the economy," a source said. "But the problem has now kind of reached a breaking point. It's just so harmful to the environment."

Under the plan, an expedited review of certain plastics products would take place through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act process.

In addition, the government is working toward making producers of plastic packaging ensure it is recyclable or reuseable. However, this must happen in concert with provinces and municipalities.

"We want it to be comprehensive. We're not looking at just one specific sector, we're looking at the entire problem," one official said.

"We also think that there's the opportunity for tens of thousands of jobs to be created through innovation and research and development."

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If some of the other Liberal legislation is any indicator, their research will be shoddy and mostly end up being virtue signalling to people that, understandably, do not have the time to be well informed. They did this on plain packaging for cigars where premium cigars, which are easily separated out, will have the current worldwide labelling outlawed on the basis that they alleged "children" are smoking them...I won't go into the boring details...they are not, beyond possible minuscule exceptions.

It will be interesting to see what they do with "Black Plastic" which is ubiquitous for microwavable prepared meals and other purposes. The City of Toronto claims is in unrecyclable (or in any event does not recycle it) while the City of Calgary does recycle it (I have always maintained Toronto doesn't recycle it because they have either not invested in the ability to do so or it is "less profitable" to recycle it (which may be related to the first reason). We pretty much know where the Greens and NDP will be on this, will the Conservatives take the same supportive position of whatever the Liberals come up with or dispense with principle and take the easy way out, likely silence or agreement?

It is the tyranny of unprincipled and what amounts to undemocratic virtue signalling.

PS lest you disagree with me on the cigar example, rest assured there is an issue where the same sloppy, lazy and unprincipled approach is used on something you disagree with the government on.

They've timed it so they can criticize the winner of the next election without having to risk actually doing anything.
I'm sure they're aware that they've bungled their chances at winning the next election anyway. It'll be the Tories next because of Canada's shoddy electoral system. They'll scrap the program, the Liberals will blame them for it, and then probably win the election again after that.
This nation is spineless.

You gotta love their language, too: "There are adverse effects on the economy, but the problem has now kind of reached a breaking point."
So... wait until the damage is done, and *then* slowly stop doing more damage?
Their follower mindset is so deeply ingrained in them, they don't remember how to even pretend to be doing the right thing.