This week, the Trudeau government announced the banning of six single-use plastic products: bags, straws, utensils, mixing sticks, can rings as well as certain “difficult-to-recycle food containers.” It is scheduled for 2021.
It was time
Since we have to start somewhere, welcome this first step. But with everything we know about the harms of single-use plastics, the government should have gone further. Let’s make sure that this is a first step from which we must all go further.
The health of the planet and our own must be protected. But also the beauty of the world.
Along our streets and highways, on almost all of our shores, you can see plastic debris. They condemn to the suffering and death of birds, fish, turtles and marine mammals that mistake them for food.
Their presence is such that they have come to constitute “islands” of plastic floating all over the oceans. One of them, in the North Pacific, is three times the size of France.
Plastic in our body
There is also the invisible. Transported by water and air, microplastic particles are now detectable up to the top of the Alps and in the Arctic. Their presence is measurable in the blood of wild animals as in the human digestive system.
Through food and respiration, North Americans ingest more than 70,000 microparticles of plastic each year. This is what an article in theEnvironmental Science & Technology published last year. Although more studies are needed, some plastics like bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are already known to pose health risks.
While some argue that it is impossible to do without single-use plastics, let us remember that their ubiquity is quite recent. Mankind did very well until the 1960s. Let us have the intelligence to adapt our behavior to today’s realities. Let us free ourselves from that which threatens life as we love it.