August 19, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will ban the use of harmful single-use plastics, and as early as 2021 and some restaurants are not happy.

The items that are on the list to be banned are grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, and takeout containers.

Trying to help out the world we live in and become more eco friendly and green has been a challenge. As plastic is very durable and cheap restaurants and grocery stores who use plastic bags are going to face a problem trying to afford non-plastic items or ones that are easier to get recycled.

Research has shown an estimate of 22 million kilograms of plastic leaks into the ocean every day. Currently, Canada uses 4.6 million tonnes of plastic every year which is roughly 125 kilograms per person.

An individual opens up a plastic straw. (Emilija Perisic/Spoke Online)

Many restaurants are starting to try and be more conscious of the environment, including Harvey’s which has switched out plastic straws and cutlery to sustainable recyclable material.

The official Harvey’s website says, “Transition all Guest-facing packaging to items that are made with or contain recycled material, and is either recyclable or compostable to the highest degree possible.”

As the ban is slowly approaching many restaurants have to figure out what they’re going to do. Some restaurants like Bhima’s Warung, a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant and Loloan Lobby Bar which serves southeast Asian cuisines, have both slowly started incorporating eco-friendly items.

Vincent Nguyen, an employee at Bhima’s Warung and Loloan Lobby Bar in Waterloo said, “The plastic ban overall won’t affect the restaurants in any long term sense since both restaurants use paper straws, takeout containers are done with aluminum foil swans, Soups are done with plastic 1-litre containers and we don’t typically give out utensils for takeout.”

Nguyen is not worried at all about the restaurant’s business going, as they have many regulars that come in for takeout already and their business hasn’t been badly hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for The Kitchener’s Farmers Market, they may come into a difficult situation, as they use plastic bags to pack  produce and give to customers but now it will all be up to customers to make sure they have reusable bags with them.

Vanessa Jaczewski, an employee at The Kitchener’s Farmers Market said in a phone interview, “We have always packaged our produce in plastic bags to give to our customers, it will be a challenge to come up with other ways, paper bags aren’t exactly ideal to carry.”

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