For immediate release: September 20, 2018

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE: Statement from Environmental Defence’s Ashley Wallis on new signatories to the landmark G7 Ocean Plastics Charter

Halifax, N.S. – Today the World Economic Forum, UN Environment, several businesses and four countries (Jamaica, Kenya, the Marshall Islands, and Norway) have signed on to the landmark Ocean Plastics Charter. We welcome this increased commitment, and applaud Canada for championing action to address this critical global issue.

We are happy to see businesses, international organizations, and countries outside of the G7 endorsing a charter that includes recycling and recycled content targets, and a commitment to reducing unnecessary plastic use. This means more international support and a growing momentum for real action on plastic pollution around the world. However, we remain concerned about the inclusion of “recovery” in the Charter as a means of waste diversion.

Recovery, or incinerating plastic waste for energy, is not the solution to our plastic pollution problem, and it is certainly not the same as recycling. Instead of allowing plastics to be burnt, we need to focus on building a circular economy, where plastic waste is recycled into new products.

We encourage Canada to continue to demonstrate leadership on plastics as it implements the Charter at home. The national plastic waste strategy, due to be announced this fall, must include a strong regulatory framework that levels the playing field for businesses and ensures targets and timelines are met. It should also make clear that recovery is not a way of achieving waste diversion targets.

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

For more information about incineration, please see our media backgrounder.

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