If you thought that green activism has run amuck in the United States, just wait until you hear what’s going on across the northern border. According to Canadian news outlets, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Minister for the Environment is now recommending that people eat with their hands rather than use single-use plastic cutlery.
According to the Western Standard, the environment minister, Steven Guilbeault, had his office send a memo to staff saying that people should use their hands instead of using plastics, and said that food trucks should ask customers to bring their own containers instead of using styrofoam boxes.
“Businesses should consider giving the customers the option to specify whether they require single use cutlery at all,” staff wrote in a report. “Businesses could also consider providing more meal options that do not require the use of cutlery, e.g. wraps and sandwiches.”
Another Canadian outlet, Blacklocks, wrote that this policy will go into place as soon as 2024. This new law would ban single-use plastic cutlery, stir sticks, straws, polystyrene food containers, six-pack rings, and checkout bags at grocery stores.
“In some cases, the need for stir sticks can be eliminated by redesigning how beverages are served,” the memo read. “For example, some drinks can be pre-mixed and stirred before reaching the customer.”
“Most customers do not require a straw to consume a beverage while seated at a table,” said the guide. “Furthermore, some companies have designed lids that make it easier to consume a beverage without a straw,” it continues.
Polyester food containers should no longer be used, they say. Food trucks “encouraging customers to bring their own containers or developing a deposit and refund system.”
In its first year, the plastic ban will cost the Trudeau Liberal government $204 million. “These costs are significant,” they admit. “These substitutes would replace around 30 billion single-use plastic items annually or around 800 single-use plastic items per Canadian.”