The official said specific items to be banned will be determined based on a science-based review, but they are considering items such as water bottles, plastic bags and straws.
"Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution and are exhausted of seeing their beaches, parks, streets and shorelines littered with plastic waste", said Justin Trudeau. A government-sponsored scientific assessment on plastic pollution would determine whether to add further products to the list.
Trudeau made the announcement at a nature preserve in Mont-Saint-Hilaire Monday morning.
"Imagine some of your fondest memories".
"That's the reality for our kids if we don't act now".
"Whether we're talking about plastic bottles or cell phones, it will be up to businesses to take responsibility for the plastics they're manufacturing and putting out into the world", Trudeau said.
NDP MP Gord Johns, whose motion calling for a national strategy to combat plastic pollution passed with unanimous support in December, said the Liberals' move is a good beginning but it is not a full strategy to get to zero plastic waste.
The Trudeau government also wants provinces, territories and industry to work with it to set targets for plastics collection and recycling. "We will continue to call on the federal government to take their time as we go through this process".
Without a change in direction, the country will throw away an estimated C$11 billion (US$8.3 billion) worth of plastic materials annually by 2030, up from C$8 billion (US$6 billion) now.
Less than 10 per cent of plastic used in Canada is recycled. Asian countries that have typically received exports of Canadian recyclables have recently begun to restrict these imports.
The timing of the proposed ban, with months left before Canadians head to the polls, begs the question of whether it can receive the backing of political parties.
Last year, Canada sponsored a G7 ocean plastics charter meant to spur a reduction in plastics use, and in May the United Nations said 180 countries reached a deal to sharply reduce the amount of plastic that gets washed into the oceans.
The plan also gives time for businesses, like fast food restaurants, to adjust and find alternatives to plastic.
But forecasts of rising oil demand to make plastics may also butt up against shifting consumer tastes.
Environment groups, meanwhile, praised Monday's announcement as a major first step.
"If it is banned, we are going to learn" how to deal with it, "for future generations", said Evelyn, another resident. "It's vital that the government doesn't let that happen". "Anything from fishing gear to the plastic rings that hold cans together will be up to the manufacturers to collect and to recycle".