Canadian plastic industry aims to make their plastic packaging either recyclable or “recoverable” by 2030. By 2040, they plan to divert plastic from landfills. Environmental groups also want to eliminate by 2025 plastic waste from single-use plastic items like cutlery or bags.
On 4 June, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada announced that they would make all of their plastic packaging recyclable or “recoverable” by 2030.
At the same day, 33 environmental and civil society groups gathered to recommend Canada to make all their provinces recycle at least 85% of the single-use plastics by 2025. The rest should be disposed of properly so that it doesn’t reach the environment.
“Towards a Zero Plastic Waste Canada”
Dozens of environmental groups like Environmental Defence, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, the Broadbent Institute and so on have suggested some of the policies that would help save the environment, and to find a way “Towards a Zero Plastic Waste Canada.”
These announcements precede today’s World Environment Day and the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., which will take place on Friday and Saturday.
Ashley Wallis is the plastics program manager for Environmental Defence. She explains that they’ve done their best to push an international zero-plastics-waste charter, but they must do something in Canada too:
“While there’s no doubt we need coordinated international efforts to eliminate the flow of plastics into our ocean, we need to make sure we do our part at home. We’re trying to provide a bit of an expectations document for what we hope to see in a national plastics strategy hopefully later this year.”
Environment and Climate Change Canada shows that at the moment, almost 11% of plastics are recycled in Canada, compared to the international average of 9%.
Wallis stated that single-use plastics are a concerning issue, as they’re produced on a huge scale and go quickly from use to disposal. Carol Hochu is the chief executive of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, and she acknowledged this problem:
“It is a waste of precious resources for plastics to be used once and then landfilled.”
Bob Masterson is the chief executive of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada. He explains that it’s important to invest in innovation to find a way to chemically recycle the plastics and reduce the waste.
Caroline Thériault, the press secretary to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, answered to the newly suggested policies that the federal government is cooperating with provinces and territories in finding a way to address plastic waste and encourages Canadians to share their ideas on how to address the issue.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.