The federal government has long stated its desire to ban single-use plastics in Canada without offering much of a framework for how this would be implemented. Given this, we were happy to see the limited scope of the products and areas identified, the increased focus on recycling, and the commitment to using science to drive their policymaking.
At the same time, we are concerned about the impact that these measures could have on Canada and call on the government to ensure that it identifies and addresses, in partnership with industry, potential negative impacts.
Plastics are used in most consumer products today because it is the best technology that is available for industry and consumers, and Canadian manufacturers are world-leaders in environmental practices and in creating new technologies to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations. We are proud of our track record in this regard.
As the government moves forward with its plans for addressing post-consumer plastic waste, we need them to work with industry to identify more effective solutions than a simple ban on plastics. For instance, industry is prepared to work with government to develop harmonized Circular Economy Legislation across Canada that would include setting recycled content standards, national performance requirements, extended producer responsibility, and define the life-cycle assessment of products. This would bring all these aspects into one legally binding framework and contribute positively to a national zero plastic waste agenda.
Similarly, creating a Technology Innovation Fund to leverage technology, research and development to help reduce plastic pollution in the manufacturing sector would also contribute to our shared goal of effectively reducing waste.
Canada’s manufacturers have been central to Canada’s COVID response and we can be central to Canada’s COVID recovery. But that will require us working in partnership with governments at all levels to increase investment, grow domestic operations, and continue to improve environmental performance. Banning plastics will do none of these things.”