The COVID-19 is Making Canada use More Plastic. What Impact Will This Have on our Fresh Water?

Donovan Sine

The use of plastics in Canada has increased since the COVID-19 has touched the Canadian community.

     The COVID-19 has brought some changes in our daily life, one of them being related to the Canadians’ reliance on certain types of single-use plastics has increased.

     Recently, some shops started to refuse reusable bags and they are turning to single-use bags. Considering that those types of bags ensure more security for their employees. Maxi, Provigo, Intermarché, and Pharmaprix stores are particularly affected by this decision which is completely understandable if we look at it from their point of view. The senior director of corporate affairs and communications, Johanne Héroux, clarified this instruction by saying the following ” Reusable bags are handled several times and increase the risk of contamination”. At the height of the outbreak, some provincial health officials advised against using reusable bags and containers in grocery stores, with several chains banning them outright in favor of plastic bags.

“The COVID-19 has also brought a new source of plastic pollution in the form of single-use personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves that we’re using daily.” Said some people of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Those products are necessary for our personnel protection during these hard times but they are also an issue if they end up in places like in our freshwater. 


     “Every year, Canadians toss out 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, and only 9% gets recycled—meaning the vast majority of plastics end up in landfills or littering our environment.” Explained a news from Chatelaine. With that, we can guess that 91% of plastic ends up in our environment like our water, landfills, and others. Knowing that the amount of personal protective equipment requested increases and that depending on where they end up, it might also increase plastic pollution and damage our environment. Considering that at this point the plastic pollution on Earth is a really big issue that isn’t solved yet if this plastic pollution comes to damage our environs more than they are right now, some serious issues might be added.

     Although this situation is getting more complicated, some solutions are made up to fix this. With those solutions there is :
– The zero plastic waste made up by the government to help to take actions on plastic waste and pollution.

–  The ban of single-use plastic like: Plastic grocery bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings for beer, cutlery, foodware made from hard-to-recycle plastic.

     Hopefully, with those solutions and the upcoming ones, the plastic pollution in Canada will decrease and stop affecting our environment like our freshwater.