The Yukon is entering a new era of more responsible waste management. Disposing of waste is expensive and negatively impacts our environment. Single-use products like plastic and paper bags are resource-intensive and their production, transportation and disposal cause pollution and emissions.
Starting January 1, 2022, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned in the Yukon. One year later, on January 1, 2023, single-use paper bags will also be banned across the territory. These are the initial steps towards a broader ban of single-use plastics in the Yukon and reflect feedback received following engagement with Yukoners and Yukon businesses.
This direction aligns with the Government of Canada’s plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030 through the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.
Many Yukoners and businesses are already moving away from single-use products. We are aiming to encourage more people to be environmentally conscious, choosing options that create less waste in our communities. Banning single-use shopping bags is another step we are taking to address the waste problem in the Yukon and protect our environment for future generations. Thank you to all Yukoners who are currently bringing their reusable shopping bags with them to stores. Over the next three months, we will continue to support Yukoners to create habits to reduce their personal waste.
Minister of Environment Nils Clarke
Addressing climate change isn’t optional anymore. Eliminating plastic waste is an important part of protecting our environment – and banning single-use bags is a step towards it. Thank you to the Yukoners who have already been leading the way on switching to reusable bags.
MLA for Whitehorse Centre Emily Tredger
This three-month notice will help retailers to plan for the use of their remaining supply of plastic bags. The Government of Yukon recommends retailers donate any leftover single-use bags to non-profits, such as the Food Bank, which can continue to use them.
There are exemptions to the bag ban. They include:
- prescription bags;
- take-out food bags;
- bags for bulk items, for example, bulk food or hardware like nails and bolts;
- produce bags;
- bags for live fish, flowers or potted plants;
- bags for tires; and
- gift bags supplied as part of a gift-wrapping service.
A ban on single-use plastics is a commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the Yukon government and the Yukon NDP Caucus.
The Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA) was signed on April 28, 2021. The agreement is in effect until January 31, 2023.