Canadian Plastics

Federal government will declare plastics as toxic substance, news report says

The Canadian government is planning to designate plastics as toxic substances, the Globe and Mail is reporting, which will give it the authority to regulate and limit certain products.

March 12, 2020   Canadian Plastics

The federal government is planning to designate plastics as toxic substances, the Globe and Mail is reporting in a March 11 news story, thereby giving it the authority to regulate and limit certain products under Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

Under CEPA, toxic substances are defined as those that cause, or may cause, immediate or long-term harm to the environment, biological diversity or human health. Substances already on the list include greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane; mercury; asbestos; lead; formaldehyde; and bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical used in some plastics. In 2016 the federal government added plastic microbeads to the list.

In June 2019, Prime Minister Trudeau first announced that his government would ban single-use plastics — which would include bags, straws and cutlery — in Canada in 2021 at the earliest as part of a national strategy to reduce waste and pollution.

In late January, the federal government released a draft State-of-the-Science assessment on plastic pollution. “Science confirms that plastic pollution is everywhere and is negatively impacting our environment,” the assessment said.

The March 11 Globe news story quoted an email from Environment and Climate Change Canada that indicated that the government will designate plastics as toxic. “In order to take concrete regulatory action to reduce plastic waste and pollution under CEPA, substances must first be added to Schedule 1,” the Globe quoted the email as saying.

 


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