Canadian Plastics

Ottawa to appeal Federal Court plastics ruling

Canadian Plastics   

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The federal government is appealing last week's decision that found it went too far in categorizing all plastic items as toxic.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Lumos sp

The federal government intends to appeal a recent court decision that quashed a cabinet order listing manufactured plastic items as toxic in Canada.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Justice Minister Arif Virani announced the government’s plan to appeal in a statement posted online on Nov. 20.

The plan to appeal is a response to a decision released on Nov. 16 by Justice Angela Furlanetto that deemed a Liberal cabinet order listing plastic manufactured items such as plastic bags, straws, and takeout containers as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) to be “unreasonable and unconstitutional.”

The judge’s decision found that the classification of plastics in the order was too broad to be listed on the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1 and the government acted outside of its authority.


“There is no reasonable apprehension that all listed [plastic manufactured] items are harmful,” Furlanetto wrote in her ruling.

The challenge to the federal government’s proposed ban was brought last year by the Responsible Plastic Use Coalition (RPUC), several chemical companies, and the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. They collectively argued that the federal government had failed to demonstrate that it had enough scientific evidence to justify the regulations. The RPUC was formed in 2021 in response to the toxic designation, and currently includes more than 30 processors and resin makers, including Berry Global Group Inc., CCC Plastics, Dow Inc., Ingenia Polymers, IPL, LyondellBasell Industries, and Nova Chemicals Corp.

In a Nov. 20 statement, the RPUC said it was aware of the government’s intention to appeal the Federal Court decision. “We will review their submissions upon receipt,” they said.

Also on Nov. 20, the office of Alberta Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz issued a short statement in response to Ottawa’s plan to appeal: “We will see minister Guilbeault in court.”


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