House debate on industry-friendly bill coincides with arrival of international delegates for plastics treaty negotiations

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – Today, MPs will debate a private member’s bill that seeks to re-open the floodgates to plastic pollution just as delegations from 193 countries converge on Ottawa to negotiate a global treaty to end it. Saskatoon-University MP Corey Tochor’s one-line bill would simply erase plastic from the toxic substances list under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).


Karen Wirsig, Senior Program Manager for Plastics:

“There is never a good day to open the tap wide to plastic pollution. But this is particularly bad timing for a bill that seems solely designed to make the plastics industry happy while preventing crucial protections for the environment and our health. It’s irresponsible to continue making and using unlimited amounts of throwaway plastics and we expect Parliament to affirm its commitment to address plastic pollution and distance itself from this unfortunate bill.”

Joanne Fedyk, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council:

“This bill doesn’t solve anything for anyone. The evidence is clear: plastic pollution causes harm to the environment. All governments must act on it and not let corporate lobbying stand in the way of science.”


  • Representatives from United Nations member states and observers from around the world are arriving in Ottawa to prepare for global plastics treaty negotiations. Canada is hosting this round of talks and is part of a high-ambition coalition of countries seeking a treaty that will end plastic pollution worldwide by 2040.
  • CEPA is Canada’s cornerstone environmental protection law, introduced under a Conservative government more than 30 years ago and updated by Parliament last June with plastic manufactured items listed.
  • Under the CEPA plastics listing, the federal government implemented bans on six single-use plastics and has consulted on other regulations for plastic packaging, which contributes half of the more than 4 million tonnes of plastic waste generated in Canada every year.
  • Canada is a major plastics producer and, per capita, generates one of the highest rates of plastic waste in 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,