The Trudeau government has announced plans to end single-use plastics by 2021.

The New Democrats have been a driving force in banning microbeads and Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor says a major problem is when these plastics start to break down and make their way into the food chain.

This legislation puts the responsibility on companies because expecting consumers to make the change is not working.

“I think, for far too long the onus has been on the consumer and that is not working, it’s quite evident it’s not working,” said MacGregor. “I think we need to force companies to start accepting more responsibility for this problem.”

MacGregor cites the great garbage patches in the Pacific Ocean and the effect plastics that find their way into the ocean can have, up and down the food chain.

MacGregor is proud of the work his colleagues, Nathan Cullen, and Gord Johns have done in this area and said the NDP is looking for a better way forward.

“The sorting process for recycling plastics is not very advanced, so if there’s any kind of contamination, they usually just throw the whole lot out,” said MacGregor. “That’s why Nathan Cullen came up with this bill because he wanted a better way to get rid of this huge waste stream, [that’s] contributing to microbeads in our drinking water, in our oceans, the big Pacific garbage patch, it’s a very real problem.”

MacGregor said for messaging on how to properly recycle, people need to go to the local level to educate themselves.