Plastics in Canada's Growing Economy
More than 95 percent of all manufactured products rely on chemistry and many of these include plastic resins. From wind turbines and solar panels to vehicles and building materials to the packaging that allows us to feed the world, plastics are essential to our sustainable future.
These products that enable our modern way of life, however, do not belong in our waterways or in the environment. Currently, Canada only recycles around 10 percent of plastics.
We can and must do better.
CPIA and CIAC have announced ambitious targets that underscore their members’ commitment to a future without plastic waste: 100 percent of plastics packaging being reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040 and 100 percent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030
Our members are committed to developing a more sustainable approach for waste management through better designs, innovative recycling and working with governments at all levels.
They are leading while others are still debating.
Canada needs a National Waste Strategy
We support the CCME National Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.
But, we believe more can be done. Right now, no policy or legislative tool exists to effectively manage plastic pollution and waste. That’s why we believe Canada should implement a circular economy for plastics legislation that enables the CCME’s Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste and deals with plastic waste specifically and effectively.
CEPA is not the right tool!
Creating an impression that safe, sanitary plastic materials are toxic through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) will ultimately make it more difficult for Canada to achieve its zero waste objectives. We need a strategy that deals with plastic waste specifically and effectively.
Extended Producer Responsibility
It all starts with industry-led and designed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
Eliminate confusion around what gets recycled
Increase collection rates
Grow end-markets for recycled content
By supporting further innovation, we can:
Ensure that ALL plastics products are designed for durability, reuse, and recyclability
Support new and emerging chemical recycling innovation
In order to recover value from ALL used plastics, Canada’s recycling infrastructure will need to be expanded. This includes investments in:
Advanced collection and sorting
Advanced plastics recycling and recovery initiatives including mechanical and chemical recycling
Removal of regulatory barriers
Banning some single-use products might make consumers feel like they are doing their part in the short-term, but we need to look at the entire life cycle of a product. If the replacement to the plastic product is worse for the environment in the long-term, this does not provide a viable solution.