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COVID-19 may delay plastics ban, airline customers struggle over refunds: CBC’s Marketplace cheat sheet

Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Cancelled flight? You might have a hard time getting a credit card chargeback

Thousands of flights were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Some Canadians who sought refunds through a chargeback from their credit card company said they were discouraged from filing a claim. (Firdia Lisnawati/The Associated Press)

Many consumers aren’t happy that they’re only receiving credits for future travel instead of refunds from major Canadian airlines. While some industry experts have suggested a credit card chargeback might be the answer, several credit card holders told Marketplace they’ve been met with resistance.

In some cases, they’ve been warned that their airline credit could be cancelled if they proceeded with a chargeback request. Read more.

Single-use plastics ban likely to be delayed by pandemic

Canada had originally planned to ban single-use plastics in 2021. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the intention to move on a plastics ban remains but said he can’t say when it will be implemented. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

It’s looking increasingly likely that efforts to fight COVID-19 will slow down the federal government’s efforts to take action to meet environmental goals, including a promised single-use plastics ban by 2021.

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the government still plans to move forward with the ban, but wouldn’t say when. Read more.

What will the future of air travel look like in a post-COVID world? 

Robotic scrubbers at Pittsburgh Airport add UV light as an extra layer of sanitizing for airport floors. (Pittsburgh Airport Authority)

Airports and airlines around the world are looking for solutions to assure passengers that flying remains safe. Some of these possibilities include UVC light to neutralize viruses and yes, even robots. Read more.

Canadians should wear masks as an ‘added layer of protection,’ says Tam

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam now says Canadians should wear masks in public in situations where physical distancing is impossible. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said the new guideline comes as provinces begin to allow businesses and services to reopen, bringing more people out of their homes. Read more.

What else is going on?

Ontario orders commission into long-term care after more than 1,400 COVID-19-related deaths
But health-care groups and unions have called for an independent public inquiry into the sector. Those advocating for an inquiry say it would result in a more thorough accounting of the long-term care system’s failures during the crisis.

Apple, Google release their joint technology for pandemic-tracking apps
The new software uses Bluetooth wireless technology to notify people who may have been in contact with possible coronavirus carriers.

Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder in North America.
The company has faced a slew of lawsuits, despite no proven link between talc and cancers.

Shopify permanently moves to work-from-home model
One of Canada’s top companies will have staff work from home as much as possible — even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

Marketplace needs your help


Technology is keeping us connected like never before, especially with social distancing measures in place. But what happens when the devices we rely on breakdown? Were you able to get your smartphone, tablet, computer fixed? How much did the repair cost?

Share your breakdown stories with us by emailing

Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace on CBC Gem.

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