Plastics industry seeks to block federal regulations that ban single-use plastics

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – In a move that should shock and enrage Canadians and people around the world, a group of plastic companies that include DOW and NOVA Chemicals, have filed a legal action to block the federal government from implementing a ban on several non-recyclable single-use plastics.

The application for Judicial Review filed in Federal Court seeks to block the implementation of the government regulations and allow the continued sale of the banned items.

The plastics industry is already suing the government for listing plastics as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Now they’re doubling down with yet another outrageous lawsuit to try to stop regulation that clearly protects the environment and public interest.

“These irresponsible companies just want to continue profiting from forcing their garbage on us. Disposable plastic has led to a pollution crisis in Canada and around the world.” said Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.

It’s estimated that if we don’t stop the growth in disposable plastic production, the amount being used and thrown away will triple by 2060.

“Our ecosystems and health cannot sustain this attack and that is why our government is absolutely right to ban these harmful single-use plastics. The plastic industry must call off these lawsuits and take responsibility for the damage they are doing to the planet,” Gray continued. “Canadians made it clear they wanted action on plastic and the government listened – but now industry is standing in the way. Canadians should consider fighting back against these arrogant and destructive companies and start to refuse to buy and use their products. Environmental Defence will seek to oppose these attacks by the oil and plastics industry in Court.”

Key Facts:

  • Canadians have shown in poll after poll that they want action on plastics
  • The plastics industry insists that better waste collection and recycling are the answer but that’s only because they want to keep making more and more plastic and let someone else deal with the mess it creates. However, if recycling worked, 91% of plastic waste would not be going into landfills, incinerators or our environment as is currently the case.
  • After years of failed recycling efforts, it’s never been more clear that plastic pollution is not, first and foremost, a waste management problem
  • Instead of trying to force Canadians to buy toxic and polluting single use plastic, the oil and plastics industry should be working with government to start programs that reduce and reuse packaging
  • Banning plastics that cannot be recycled and are not needed by society protects Canadians’ health and our environment. Unnecessary single-use plastics must quickly become a thing of the past. Further bans of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics and support for reuse and refill are needed. EDC will seek to oppose these attacks by the oil and plastics industry in Court

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence 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:

Lauren Thomas, Environmental Defence,