What You Need to Know about the Single-Use Plastic Ban in Canada

By August 21, 2022 August 23rd, 2022 Regulations, ICC & Industry News, Regulation Updates

The following is a brief overview of what you need to know regarding the new Canadian government’s prohibition on single-use plastics that was published on June 20th, 2022, in the Canadian Gazette II. 

As of December 2022, with some exceptions, the ban will target the manufacture, import, and use of the following single-use plastics:  

  • Retail checkout bags; 
  • cutlery; 
  • foodservice containing hard to recycle plastics; 
  • ring carriers; 
  • stir sticks and straws. 

These new regulations will begin to come into effect as of December 2022 to allow current manufacturers and retailers to deplete existing stocks and to transition to a more sustainable alternative. To better assist in understanding important timelines the Canadian government has released the following table. 

Plastic item  Manufacture and import for sale in Canada  Sale  Manufacture, import and sale for export 
Checkout bags, cutlery, straws foodservice ware, stir sticks, straws  December 20, 2022  December 20, 2023  December 20, 2025 
Ring carriers  June 20, 2023  June 20, 2024  December 20, 2025 
Flexible straws packaged with beverage containers  N/A  June 20, 2024  December 20, 2025 

(Table provided by environment-climate-change Canada) 

Now there are some exceptions to this regulation and here are some examples: 

  • Bags intended to hold organic waste meant for composting; 
  • Recycling, and garbage bags; 
  • Produce bags used for fruit, vegetables, or loose bulk food items; 
  • Bags for meat, poultry, or fish packaging; 
  • Bags to protect prepared foods or bakery goods; 
  • Bags to protect newspapers/flyers;  
  • Laundered or dry-cleaning protective bags; 
  • Bags to protect used tires taken off vehicles.  

Plastic cutlery  

Any plastic cutlery that is not made from polystyrene or polyethylene is considered reusable. The following types of cutlery may continue to be manufactured, imported, and sold, provided they meet the performance criteria below: 

  • Reusable cutlery made of thick plastic, other than polystyrene or polyethylene 
  • Reusable silicone cutlery used for infant feeding 
  • Reusable plastic utensils used for cooking or preparing food 

 Plastic foodservice that are exempted from the regulations are: 

  •  Cups or containers used by hospitals and care institutions  
  • Paper and fibre-based coffee cups and food containers with a plastic lining, so long as it does not have any expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene foam, PVC, carbon black, or any oxo-degradable plastics. 

 A few more examples can be found in this article: Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations – Guidance for selecting alternatives 


December 2022 will approach faster than we know it and we need to be ready to adapt and pivot with these new ways. Keep informed and make sure your company is ready. Contact ICC for more information on these new regulations.  

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Elton Woodfine

Elton Woodfine

Elton Woodfine CD (Canadian Decoration) served 22 years as a member of the Canadian Forces. Initially as an Infantry section Commander in the Princess Patricia Canadian Lite Infantry (PPCLI), he served on two peace keeping missions in the former Yugoslavia, and one combat tour in Afghanistan where his unit was awarded the Governor General Unit Citation for actions in combat. He then continued to serve as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force as a firefighter, where he completed a diploma in Fire Science/ Fire-fighting from Memorial University and Occupational Health and Safety diploma from the University of New Brunswick. Lastly, in his career with the Canadian Forces, he served as a member of the Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Operator (CBRN Op), part of the Canadian Special Operation Command (CANSOFCOM). Upon his retirement from the Canadian Forces, he took a position as a Life Cycle Management of hazardous materials instructor for the logistical branch of the Department of National Defense and is knowledgeable in NFCC, CEPA 1999, IMHWR, TDGR, ICAO, IATA, IMDG, GHS and OH&S federal regulations.

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