For immediate release: October 12, 2018

New report shows Canada’s path to zero plastic waste this Waste Reduction Wee

Canada must improve its shocking 11 per cent recycling rate for plastic waste

Toronto, Ont. – A new report released today ahead of Waste Reduction Week (October 15-21) outlines the current failures of Canada’s waste management system, and maps a route to achieve zero plastic waste by 2025.

The report, Talking Trash: Canada’s Plastic Pollution Problem, illustrates that new national legislation and a comprehensive federal plan of action to build a circular economy are vital if Canada is going to reduce the flow of plastic waste into our environment. Canada currently has no national plan for dealing with this problem.

This year’s Waste Reduction Week covers a different theme each day, focussing on the circular economy on Monday October 15th, and plastics on Thursday October 19th. Canadians all over the country will be getting involved in ways to reduce waste and promote recycling.

“As this primer shows, there is both an obvious need and a huge public appetite for urgent action on plastic pollution,” says Ashley Wallis, Plastics Program Manager at Environmental Defence.

“10000 metric tonnes of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year, and that’s just a tiny glimpse of the overall problem. Canada has promised a national strategy. This is a once in a generation opportunity to make progress on plastics. We need to get it right, and focus on policies that will build a circular economy and change our wasteful and destructive system.”

Those policies should include:

  • Banning materials that are harmful or tough to recycle, such as Styrofoam
  • A national recycling target of at least 85 per cent by 2025
  • A national recycled content standard for new products of at least 75 per cent
  • Legislation to make producers of plastic goods responsible for collecting and recycling them.

View the report here.

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, Environmental Defence, 416-805-0026 (cell); rkitchin@environmentaldefence.ca