Ending Plastic Pollution - A Call to Action

Canada has committed to ending plastic waste by 2030. (i) Reaching this goal will require ambitious actions that address the full life cycle of plastic.

Canada is a major—and growing—producer of plastics and the world’s second  highest user of plastic on a per person basis. (ii) Production, use and disposal of  plastics is an increasing contributor to climate change (iii) and habitat degradation. It also imposes disproportionate harm on those living next to production and disposal facilities, often low-income and Black, Indigenous and People of  Colour communities. (iv)

We, the undersigned, therefore call on the Government of Canada to commit  immediately to implement the following actions on an urgent basis:

1. Use the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to eliminate single-use  and harmful plastic:

     a. Phase out all unnecessary disposable plastics.

     b. Ensure regulation of plastics apply to production, sale, distribution, use,  import and export.

     c. Require that new plastic products include a significant amount of post consumer mechanically-recycled content.

     d. Set high Canada-wide recycling targets, including a requirement to refill or  recycle 90 per cent of beverage containers.

     e. Eliminate the use of harmful additives in plastic, including PFAS,  phthalates, bisphenols, brominated flame retardants, and heavy metals.

2. Accelerate the necessary shift to reuse:

     a. Set an ambitious target for reuse-refill of packaging manufactured, sold or  distributed in Canada.

     b. Establish a tax on single-use products and packaging.

     c. Lead by example: use federal procurement to prioritize reuse and refill. d. Make reuse and refill a priority in all regulatory, financial and policy  measures.

     e. Ensure Canadians have the ability to repair their devices and appliances to  keep durable plastics in use.

3. Advance a just transition to a fossil-free, zero waste economy:

     a. Set reduction targets for petrochemical and plastic production.

     b. Eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, petrochemicals and plastics.

     c. Reject false solutions, including: waste-to-energy, waste-to-fuel and other so-called advanced/chemical recycling technologies; and material  substitutions, such as so-called “biodegradable” products and packaging.

     d. Invest in a just transition for plastics and petrochemical workers.

4. Ensure transparency and accountability:

     a. Immediately begin collecting and publicly releasing annual Canada-wide  data on production, import, export, sale, reuse, recycling and disposal of  plastic by type and use.

     b. Track and control plastic additives to support the elimination of harmful  additives and to ensure safe reuse and recycling.

5. Be a leader in the global effort to address plastic pollution:

     a. Demonstrate international leadership by championing a legally-binding  global treaty to prevent and remediate plastic pollution at all phases of its  life cycle.

     b. Ensure Canadian plastic waste is not illegally dumped in Global South  countries, including through the immediate introduction of stricter controls  on shipments from Canada to the US.

     c. Strictly control plastic waste imports and exports, including shipments  between Canada and the United States, to ensure they are destined for  environmentally-sound recycling and not to be used as fuel.  

     d. Take remedial action against plastics already accumulated in the  environment.




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