As we already know the Federal Government promised to ban single use plastic shopping bags in Canada. They have not provided any date yet but looking at the experience of other countries it seems that the ban is inevitable and fast approaching. We still do not have a clear picture of how this regulation will be written. There are many municipalities and even provinces in Canada which already implemented the plastic ban on the checkout shopping bags where they literally banned all kind of plastic including the compostable ones.
Will the federal regulation follow suit and ban compostable bags as well?
There are some opponents who support the idea of the total plastic ban.
Let`s try to predict if the compostable products will be outlawed by looking at other countries that are a bit ahead of Canada in this area.
Let`s look at the US.
Washington state is banning all plastic bags starting October 1, 2021 but allowing to use compostable bags – https://ecology.wa.gov/Waste-Toxics/Reducing-recycling-waste/Waste-reduction-programs/Plastics/Plastic-bag-ban.
California state was one of the first in the world who banned the plastic bags but not certified compostable bags – https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB270.
In Europe each state decides itself how they want to implement the plastic ban but there is no clear directive that bans compostable products – https://ec.europa.eu/environment/topics/plastics/bio-based-biodegradable-and-compostable-plastics_en.
It is allowed to use compostable bags in Europe and the only requirement that is set for them is to be properly labeled and certified with an independent organization – https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32015L0720&from=EN.
It is worth mentioning that France has set the highest standard by allowing only HOME compost bags and planning to ban the industrial compost bags – https://bioplasticsnews.com/2019/12/13/france-adopts-amendment-that-will-change-bioplastics-industry/.
So, we can see that countries prefer not to ban the certified compostable bags and have them as an alternative to conventional plastic. I think we can cautiously assume that Canada will choose the same path. Anyway, we will get the answer to this question very soon.