Starting Jan. 1. 2023, single-use paper bags will be banned in Yukon, the territory’s government has announced.
The new ban, announced on Wednesday, includes single-use bags of all sizes supplied by retailers to customers.
However, there will be some exceptions to the bag ban, such as prescription bags, take-out food bags, bags for bulk items, tire bags, produce bags and bags for live fish, flower or potted plants.
The move comes a year after Yukon’s ban on single-use plastic bags, which has been in effect since Jan. 1, 2022.
The Yukon government says this latest ban is meant to help protect the environment and reduce waste as production and transportation of single-use products is resource-intensive and creates emissions.
“Single-use plastic shopping bags have been banned for almost a year in the Yukon and this has resulted in less unnecessary waste,” Yukon Minister of Environment Nils Clarke in a news release. “Starting January 1, single-use paper bags will also be banned in the territory as they too are polluting our environment when being produced and transported. Many Yukoners are already taking their reusable bags or bins to the store with them and this is another step we can take to continue to reduce waste in the Yukon.”
The government also recommends that retailers donate any leftover single-use bags to non-profits organizations such as food banks, who can still use them.
It is also recommended that retailers can stop distributing single-use bags anytime not necessarily to wait until Jan. 1.
In June 2022 the Canadian government announced that the manufacturing and importing of single-use plastics will be banned across the country by the end of the year.
The federal government says that up to 15 billion plastic checkout bags are used every year and approximately 16 million straws are used daily.
It claims that over 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution will be eliminated over the next decade as a result of this ban.
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