CIAC expresses ‘disappointment’ with Canada’s single-use plastics ban
Canadian PlasticsCanadian Plastics Sustainability
Association officials noted that bans of some single-use plastic items will not solve the overall problem of plastics pollution and the management of post-consumer plastics.
The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) has expressed “disappointment” with the Canadian federal government’s June 20 announcement to move forward and ban certain plastic items through its single-use plastics prohibition regulations.
In a June 20 statement, CIAC officials noted that bans of some single-use plastic items will not solve the overall problem of plastics pollution and the management of post-consumer plastics.
“We are disappointed that safe, inert plastic materials that play such important roles in Canadians’ lives are being banned when innovative technologies like advanced recycling are available to manage them effectively,” said Elena Mantagaris, vice president of the CIAC plastics division. “Rather than bans, we need to invest in recycling infrastructure and innovation, including infrastructure to manage compostables, to harness the $8 billion value of plastics that are currently sent to landfill and recirculate them in the economy.”
It’s estimated that demand for plastics is expected to triple by 2050 to meet our climate change and emission goals, CIAC said, because plastics is an energy efficient material with a lower environmental footprint than most alternatives. “The plastics sector is also a major contributor to the Canadian economy, adding $35 billion annually and responsible for over 100,000 direct jobs in 2021,” it noted.
“Access to export markets provides a lifeline to many CIAC members, allowing them to continue to generate revenue and expand international market exposure, while working to pivot their operations to meet domestic market needs,” the statement continued. “Transitioning operations is not an action that can be delivered quickly; it requires significant engineering, planning and procurement of long lead capital assets. In this early pandemic recovery stage, global supply chains are working to restore efficiency and capacity making transition times longer than pre-pandemic scenarios. As such we do appreciate the delay of export restrictions to 2025 as this will allow Canadian companies the time to pivot to preserve tens of thousands of good middle class jobs.”
The Ottawa-based CIAC said it will continue to work with the federal government “to understand the scope of impacts on businesses stemming from regulations.” “Our attention remains firmly focused on working with federal and provincial governments to advance extended producer responsibility initiatives coast to coast and creating more enabling policy and investment environments to support a low carbon circular economy for plastics,” it said.