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Swift implementation is key to federal measures on ending plastic pollution

In Environment
Jun 10th, 2019


News release from Environmental Defence 

This is a huge step forward from the Federal Government towards ending Canada’s plastic pollution problem.

“The plastics crisis cannot be solved by voluntary measures,” said Vito Buonsante, Plastics Program Manager. “We applaud Canada for taking action. The evidence is there: plastics are in our environment, our food, and even in us. Banning unnecessary plastics is the first step to addressing the problem.”

“Plastics are filling up our landfills, killing animals and choking our waterways. So it is extremely promising to see the government committing to a comprehensive plan that can make a difference. Canada is not only banning the most problematic products, but also holding producers responsible for cleaning up the waste they create.”

Under the new system producers should be responsible for collecting the waste from their own products and packaging, and paying the costs of cleaning up littered parks and beaches. This is hugely significant, as it gives producers a real incentive to redesign products to make them easier to collect and recycle.

“What we need now is swift implementation,” said Buonsante. “This is the start of a process. We expect that the plastics industry will be doing everything in their power to water down these regulations, limit the ban list and lower the collection targets. It’s vital that the government doesn’t let that happen.”

To be regulated, plastics have to be recognized as harmful under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Then regulations will be passed to minimize their harm, including bans, high collection targets and recycled content requirements.

The government should ensure that recycling and recycled content targets are ambitious, and aim to collect 100 per cent of plastics by 2030.

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