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Environment

Canada Should Recycle 85% of Single-Use Plastics by 2025, NGOs Say

A group of NGOs released a declaration Monday calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to set increased targets to reach zero plastic waste in Canada.

The group, which consists of more than 40 NGOs, is asking Canada to commit to a plastic recycling rate of 85% by 2025. This would see single-use plastics like water bottles recycled much more frequently, given that today’s rate of plastic recycling sits at less than 11%, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The declaration also asks that all single-use plastics be made of at least 75% recycled material by 2025.

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“We're challenging the Canadian government to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous governments, [and] municipalities to put together a plan to ensure that Canada achieves zero plastic waste,” Ashley Wallis, program manager at Environmental Defence, told the Canadian Press.

The G7 Summit takes place in Charlevoix, Quebec, this week and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna indicated in March that Canada will be looking to leaders to sign an anti-plastics charter.

The international zero plastics charter would set goals for reducing plastic waste around the world, while looking at national strategies, as well as planning for the development of products to replace plastic or make them more recyclable. The G7 leaders would also look at ways to help the developing world come up with better waste management, according to the Canadian Press.

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“While there's no doubt we need coordinated international efforts to eliminate the flow of plastics into our ocean, we need to make sure we do our part at home,” Wallis told CBC. “We're trying to provide a bit of an expectations document for what we hope to see in a national plastics strategy hopefully later this year.”

Their list also includes an ask for legislation that would force plastic producers to collect and recycle the plastic they produce, as well as a request to ban plastics or additives that are toxic or difficult to recycle.

They’ve also asked to create incentives for reducing waste and increasing products that can be reused, such as introducing a levy on single-use items like plastic containers.

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The group’s declaration serves as a reminder to Trudeau that it’s time for Canada to step up its environmental leadership at home, as well as abroad.

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