Statement by Karen Wirsig, Plastics Program Manager, on the plastics industry’s announcement to pursue legal action against Canada’s efforts to control plastic pollution 

Toronto, Ont. – Earlier today, a number of companies in the plastics and petrochemical industry announced that they have formed a coalition to pursue legal action against the federal government for its move to designate all plastic manufactured items as “toxic” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). It is shocking that petrochemical and packaging companies are seeking to block the federal government’s crucial step to protect oceans, lakes, rivers and our health from plastic pollution. 

Canadians know plastic is harmful to the environment, and the government’s science assessment is clear. We are confident that Canadian courts will recognize that the federal government is acting within its rights to list plastic manufactured items as a toxic substance under CEPA. 

We urge the government to defend its decision robustly while moving ahead quickly with regulations to address the environmental and health effects of plastic pollution, including enacting bans on single-use plastics. Environmental Defence is prepared to take steps to help ensure the listing is upheld. 

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE CANADA: Environmental Defence Canada is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Sarah Jamal, Environmental Defence, sjamal@environmentaldefence.ca