However, the Ottawa-based Canadian Chemical Industry Association spoke out against bans and urged the government to give time to devise plans to modernize recycling systems across the country, including with national waste laws.
“CIAC supports the development of national waste legislation that provides the appropriate authorities and instruments to support the promotion of a circular economy for plastics,” said the association. “Our goal as a society must be to properly manage and build a circular economy for all plastic products.”
In particular, CIAC urged the federal government to postpone a plan to list plastic products under Appendix 1 of Canada’s Environmental Protection Act that could make them toxic.
In its October 7 announcement, the Ministry of the Environment announced that it would publish a proposal on October 10 that would include “plastic manufactured articles” in Appendix 1 of the CEPA.
The label is a “necessary step in the management of plastic products” and would give it more powers to regulate plastic pollution throughout the life cycle of the material.
Substances that are on the Plan 1 list can officially be classified as toxic. However, CIAC is urging the government to remove the labeling as toxic and instead label them as substances that require additional management. CIAC believes the government is open to this.
A coalition of 65 US and Canadian trade associations, including more than 30 plastics companies, also spoke out against the possible CEPA expulsion in a letter to the Canadian government on September 21.
The groups, including the Plastics Industry Association and the American Chemistry Council, told Canadian trade officials that labeling US-made plastic products as toxic would violate the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and “clearly define a non-tariff Barrier met “. “”
It could jeopardize $ 12.1 billion a year in plastic exports from the United States to Canada, the groups said.
“The actions taken by the leaders in Ottawa to ban and label plastics as toxic are irresponsible,” said Tony Radoszewski, CEO of the Plastics Industry Association. “Simply put, the single-use plastic items we use every day are not toxic, but actually life-saving.”
However, one analyst said that the CEPA listing is tightly focused on single-use packaging.
Toronto’s CIBC Equity Research said in a notice to investors that while the label is not good in the short term, it has “minimal impact” on Canadian packaging companies that focus primarily on extended shelf life packaging. The search for alternatives for this packaging is much more complex.
The department pointed to low recycling rates – it said only 9 percent of the plastic in the country is recycled – as well as scientific studies by the Canadian government showing negative environmental impacts.
“The problem is getting worse,” said Wilkinson. “Measures are needed to ensure that plastics do not get into our environment.”
However, CIAC pointed to actions by the Canadian plastics industry, including a commitment to make all plastic packaging recoverable or recyclable by 2030, and to actually reuse, reclaim or recycle it by 2040. The industry employs 93,000 Canadians.
“Plastic doesn’t belong in landfills or the environment. It belongs in business,” said CIAC.