Feds seek input on recycled content rules

The federal government has opened consultations on the development of new regulations to set minimum percentage recycled content requirements for certain items made of plastic.

Canadians and stakeholders are invited to comment, before March 14, 2022, on proposed measures that would set minimum recycled content requirements for certain plastic manufactured items. The government wants to hear primarily from manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging; brand owners and producers; and other stakeholders, such as recyclers and non-governmental organizations.

“The government is committed to achieving zero plastic waste by 2030. A key part of this plan is establishing recycled content standards, which will drive demand for recycled plastics and help facilitate the transition toward a circular plastics economy,” said Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change.

“Recycled content requirements would help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and the environment, while also decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.”

In October 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) published A proposed integrated management approach to plastic products: discussion paper. The paper sought input from Canadians on options for a regulatory approach for recycled content requirements (for example, product-based, resin-based or economy-wide approach), scope of products and resins, and other considerations.

In August 2021, ECCC published a “What we heard” report that summarizes the feedback received on the discussion paper. There was strong overall support for increasing the use of post-consumer recycled content (see section 4.1), the importance of verification standards, and the ability of the Government of Canada to provide leadership through procurement, incentives for industry, and investment in infrastructure.

The government is targeting publication of proposed regulations by the end of 2022.

The proposed regulations would be designed to reduce the amount of plastic entering landfills and the environment by strengthening demand for recycled plastics. This will drive improvements to recycling systems and product design, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote a circular economy for plastics.