Statement from Ashley Wallis, Associate Director, regarding the federal court’s decision to strike Plastic Manufactured Items from the Canadian Environmental Protection Act’s list of toxic substances

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – We’re dismayed to see that the court sided with Big Plastic despite the industry’s blatant disregard for plastic’s catastrophic impacts on the environment. It’s unsurprising that an industry so closely tied to fossil oil and gas, environmental injustice, and mass consumption would fight the government’s ability to reign in plastics. However, we are confident that this will not derail efforts toward a future free from plastic pollution.

Environmental Defence will not be backing down from this fight, and we urge the federal government to stand firm. Canada must quickly appeal this court decision and move forward with its planned regulatory and policy agenda, including bans on harmful single-use plastics. The evidence is clear: decades of research demonstrate plastic products are toxic to the environment, and there is increasing concern over its harmful impact on human health too.

The world is united in a desire for coordinated action to address the plastic pollution crisis. UN member states from around the world are currently gathered in Nairobi, Kenya to negotiate towards a global treaty on plastic pollution. People in Canada agree too—polling from Oceana Canada shows overwhelming support for action on plastics, including bans on harmful single-use plastics.

We will continue to support federal action on plastics, including legislative pathways that seek to stem the toxic flow of plastics in Canada and around the world.

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,, 647-687-2687