Federal Government Zero Plastics Waste Consultation

May 1, 2018 - Everyone who is part of the plastics value chain knows that plastics are important to the lives of people everywhere.   Plastic products and packaging help us reduce waste, conserve resources and reduce energy use, all while growing reuse, recycling, and recovery of plastics.

The Canadian Federal government, as part of its efforts to achieve “zero plastic waste and reduce marine litter” has opened a Dialogue on Plastics to collect input from Canadians.  Environmental groups have been very successful in convincing many Canadians that benign, sustainable and practical plastic products are dangerous and need to be restricted or even banned.  Products as simple and useful to children, seniors and the disabled as plastic straws are being targeted for potential bans.

We have heard directly from Government officials that they want to hear from all Canadians, not just the extreme views of people who demonize plastics.

Please ask your employees, customers, suppliers and other business partners to consider
providing a more balanced pro-plastics perspective to the Federal Government by commenting here .

If we don’t speak up on behalf of plastics, the only voices the Government will hear will be those who get their information from environmental groups and social media.

Here are some of the simple messages people who support the positive and responsible role that plastics play in our society can share through the “Dialogue on Plastics”. 

  1. Plastics use continues to grow in Canada because consumers want the sanitary, safety, health, and convenience benefits that plastics offers.
  2. All of us have a shared responsibility for using plastics properly then recycling more to keep plastics out of landfills.
  3. Rather than banning plastics, government should be educating and encouraging people and businesses on how to reuse and recycle more.
  4. Plastics deliver innovation and economic growth, safely and responsibly.
  5. We need to take more advantage of technologies that can convert end-of-life plastics into raw materials and fuels to power our communities.
  6. Plastics are an important contributor to the lower carbon economy through energy efficiency and green energy production.
  7. We need to judge plastic products on their lifecycle impacts not just their recyclability.
  8.  Brand owners and retailers need the sustainability benefits plastics delivers.
  9. Plastics innovations are essential to increasing living standards by way of new products that design out waste, improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions while increasing reuse, recycling and recovery.
  10. Marine debris is a real problem that the industry is fully engaged in – plastic does not belong in the ocean, rivers or lakes. None of the meaningful sources of marine litter are in Canada therefore real impact will only come if Canada supports international action.
  11.  Restricting or banning the use of plastics will increase the cost to our environment because alternative materials have a significantly bigger negative impact over their lifecycle.
  12. Canada should encourage policies that incentivize research innovation that will allow the market to deliver solutions.

Please share the link to the consultation with anyone who is interested in ensuring a balanced perspective informs the plastics policies the government is developing right now. Of course, any input to the information gathering processes should be respectful of all levels of government as well as those who register different perspectives.

This is an important moment for the plastics sector and the value plastics deliver for Canadians. There isn’t a firm closing date for the online consultation but it is not likely to be open much beyond May 2018 so the need is urgent.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Carol Hochu, President & CEO, Canadian Plastics Industry Association

Notes for participants: 

Here is the link to the consultation - https://www.placespeak.com/en/topic/5716-moving-canada-toward-zero-plastic-waste/ 

Go to the consultation link and hit the “Participate” button. Once you provide your name and an email address you can provide your comments.

There are six discussion areas where you can provide comments and ideas:

  • Tell us more (a general forum for overall comments about plastics and the environment)
  • On the ground action (asking for specific ideas)
  • Research and Innovation (looking for ways to do more and have a greater impact)
  • Sustainable Lifestyle and Education (connecting the zero waste objectives to consumers and ways to increase literacy and awareness)
  • Collection and Management (post-use plastics policies, methods and logistics)
  • Sustainable Design and Production (looking for ideas to leverage design principles and more environmentally sensitive