Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has given grocery stores in Canada until the end of August to address the Trudeau government’s proposed ban on single-use plastics on meat, fruit and vegetables..
In documents first discovered by Blacklock’s Reporter and reported by The Western Standard, the federal government did not provide an estimate as to how much the changes are going to cost consumers, but the environment department has previously said the figure could be as high as $205 million annually.
Former Saskatchewan Member of Parliament Gerry Ritz, who as agriculture minister under the former Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told The Post Millennial that the program is unsound and unworkable.
“The main thing is this doesn’t address the 50 percent of our domestic consumption that is imported in plastic and Styrofoam. Do they believe an exporter will conform? What will the extra to consumers be if they do?”
Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist, was one of the few high-profile cabinet ministers not to be fired or transferred from his job in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent shuffle that removed prominent officials like former Justice Minister David Lametti and former Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.
The Department of Environment plans to draft regulations to ban or reduce the use of plastic covering grocery meat and the produce bags that are used by shoppers to store fruit and vegetables.
“There is a need to do business differently,” it said in a statement.
“That is why the Government of Canada is taking action to reduce plastic pollution.” reads a statement from the Development of a Pollution Prevention Planning Notice for Primary Food Plastic Packaging.
The department expects “Canada’s largest grocery retailers to prepare and implement a pollution prevention plan to meet targets to reduce, reuse and redesign primary food plastic packaging including recycling content targets” by Dec. 31, 2023.
There will be another regulatory ban to target six quarantined plastic products found in stores: polystyrene food containers, single-use cutlery, straws, grocery bags and six-pack rings.
Although Guilbeault does not want to discuss the potential costs of the ban to consumers, his department did address the issue in a 2021 notice.
“The proposed regulations are expected to result in $205 million in costs in the first year of full policy stringency, 2024,” said in a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement.
“Some consumers may feel the burden of these costs more than others.”
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