Following a year-long delay, the Trudeau government in late December released draft Regulations that would ban certain kinds of environmentally “harmful” single-use plastic items.
According to a joint press release issued by Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, the Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations are “a major step” in bringing Canada “closer to delivering on its commitment to banning certain harmful single-use plastics.”
The ban on six plastic items, including checkout bags, cutlery and straws, is part of the federal government’s larger plan to eventually eliminate plastic waste in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
It is estimated that the Regulations would prevent more than 23,000 tonnes of plastic pollution from entering the environment over a ten-year period—the equivalent of one million garbage bags of litter.
Interestingly, an exemption in the Regulations allows manufacturers to export single-use plastics that will be banned in Canada. Environment Canada says it has “determined, through thorough analysis, that prohibiting single-use plastics manufactured or imported for export would not lead to a global reduction in plastics.”
The Government intends to “finalize these Regulations and bring the ban into force as quickly as possible and as early as late 2022 after reviewing and considering comments received.” It also indicates that draft guidance to help businesses adapt to the requirements of the proposed Regulations will soon be published.
Interested parties wishing to comment on the proposed Regulations may file them prior to March 5, 2022 and should address them as follows:
Director, Plastic Regulatory Affairs Division
Department of the Environment
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard
Note: Formal objections (i.e., requesting a board of review) must be filed prior to February 23, 2022.