Trudeau not ready to join UK PM’s ban on single-use plastics

PM Justin Trudeau stopped short today of echoing British Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for Commonwealth members to ban single-use plastics — but pointed to a planned discussion at the next G7 summit, being hosted by Canada later this year.

May announced earlier Thursday that her government is banning plastic straws, cotton swabs and other single-use items with the aim of eradicating avoidable plastic waste by 2042 as part of a “national plan of action.”

Trudeau said, “We have made the protection of our oceans, specifically looking at plastics in the ocean, one of the key themes of our G7 presidency and I look forward to gathering with the other G7 leaders to discuss this issue and the various solutions that they have put forward.”

“I know that there will be a lot of interest in Prime Minister May’s proposal, and I look forward to that discussion at that time.”

Such products have been under fire in the U.K. since the BBC aired a documentary that included a detailed look at the impact of plastics on the world’s oceans.

Canada has made reducing the use of plastic to protect the oceans a G7 priority and moved to ban plastic microbeads in bath and body products. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s office said it plans to go further.

McKenna’s office said in a statement that by working with provinces and territories, and in consultation with Indigenous Peoples, industry, municipalities, non-profit organizations and research institutions,the government of Canada will develop an approach to keep plastic within the economy and out of landfills and the environment.”