MoneyBan on single-use plastics could be boon for Ontario forestry industry
Ottawa pledges to spend $15 million to restore Ontario's tree-planting program
OTTAWA — The federal government is pledging to spend $15 million to save a tree-planting program in Ontario. A spokesperson for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the money, which comes from Ottawa's low-carbon economy fund, will help the non-profit Forests Ontario reach its goal of planting 50 million trees by 2025. Premier Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative government cancelled the program in late April, saying the forestry industry is a responsible steward of the province's forests. Those involved in the program said its cancellation would cause job losses and stall environmental progress.
Northern Ontario forestry producers are hoping the Canadian economy is about to trade plastic for paper.
The federal government wants to ban single use plastics like straws and forks, as early as 2021, and the Forest Products Association of Canada is hoping that wood and paper will take their place.
Bob Larocque, senior vice-president of the group, says this would open new markets for northern Ontario mills.
"This will be new types of end product development that will require the current products that are being made by the northern pulp and paper facilities," Larocque said. "It's creating and maintaining a more diverse market than we have today, so that's incredibly helpful for our current facilities."
Government to ban single-use plastics by 2021
The Trudeau government will ban single-use plastics by 2021, CBC News has learned. Plastic straws, cotton buds, drink stirrers, plates, cutlery and balloon sticks are just some of the single-use plastics that will be banned in Canada.
Larocque says they're working on substituting their own products for ones that will be most affected by the government ban.
"For example, we can make packaging that would replace Tupperware or plastic bags," he says. "But we're also working with them to replace plastic-type chemistry to make water bottles, for example, with chemicals that come from a tree."
Domtar paper in Espanola has already shifted to making specialty paper products, such as the takeout bags at Tim Hortons.
But Larocque says the forest industry as a whole is at least a few years away from being ready to replace plastic products.
Plastics forks at Trudeau lunch a sign of hypocrisy: Conservatives.
OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives are calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a hypocrite over plastic cutlery that was available at a lunch meeting he held with youth activists in his Montreal riding. Trudeau tweeted a picture of himself having lunch on Monday with about half a dozen members of the Papineau Youth Council, including pizzas in cardboard boxes, paper plates, a pitcher of water with glasses, and a handful of plastic forks. The Liberals have started a regulatory review that's expected to end with severe restrictions on single-use plastics as soon as 2021. The most wasteful products, including things like straws and plastic cutlery, could be banned outright.
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