The Government of Yukon is proposing amendments to the Environment Act to strengthen the territory’s waste reduction efforts by allowing for the banning certain types of single-use packages and products. Minister of Environment Pauline Frost tabled Bill 14 today in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. The Bill would allow for new rules around how single-use products and packages are made, supplied, distributed and used.
Single-use products, like plastic and paper bags, are harmful to the environment and expensive to deal with when they become waste. In the 2019 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Yukon announced plans to ban on single-use bags.
Single-use packaging is a growing problem, but one we can address by reducing the amount of single-use products we use in the territory. Banning single-use packages and products will help Yukon align with national and international efforts to reduce waste in our environment and landfills.
Minister of Environment Pauline Frost
The low cost of producing and disposing of single-use items has increased the amount of disposable plastic products and packaging that end up in our environment. Only nine per cent of plastic is recycled in Canada.
Plastics that are not recycled, like some single-use bags, are an increasing problem because they end up in our waterways, forests and in the stomachs of wildlife and birds.
Plastic takes thousands of years to break down. Even as it breaks down, plastic in our environment is still hazardous as tiny pieces are often eaten by fish and aquatic life.