For immediate release: September 20, 2018

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE: Statement from Environmental Defence’s Ashley Wallis on Canada’s actions to address plastic pollution

Halifax, N.S. – Today, Minister McKenna announced some new actions the Canadian Government is taking to tackle plastic pollution at home. This is a small but positive first step, and we look forward to seeing Canada’s full national strategy when it is released later this year.

 We are happy to hear that the Canadian Government plans to reduce plastic use and waste in its own operations, and to use its purchasing power to encourage sustainable plastic use. Moving to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastics like straws, cutlery and bottles is an important step as Canada demonstrates leadership in this area. We won’t solve our plastic pollution crisis with recycling alone. Reducing unnecessary use must be a key pillar of domestic action moving forward.

 We are also pleased to see Canada acknowledge the need for investment in innovative technologies that disrupt our current linear “make-use-dispose” economy, and reduce plastic pollution. We encourage the federal government to increase this investment over time, and to support disruptive technologies that will encourage our transition to a circular economy.

 This fall, Canada will work with the provinces through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) to draft a comprehensive national strategy to address plastic pollution domestically.

The national strategy must include:

  • Bans on plastics that can’t be efficiently recycled, or that contain toxic chemicals;
  • A legally binding recycling target for single-use plastics by 2025;
  • A minimum recycled content standard for single-use plastics, to drive the use of recycled materials in the creation of new plastic products; and
  • Legislation that makes producers financially and operationally responsible for collecting and recycling their products.

We look forward to working with the federal government on a national plastic waste strategy that gets Canada to a zero plastic-waste future.

 ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca) Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.


 For more information, or media requests, please contact:

Rachel Kitchin, Communications Manager, Environmental Defence: 416 805 0026 (cell); rkitchin@environmentaldefence.ca