(UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORIES/VANCOUVER) – In response to today’s release of the draft proposed Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations by the federal government, Greenpeace Canada’s Head of Oceans and Plastic Campaign, Sarah King said:
“The proposed single-use plastics ban regulations are a missed opportunity to signal a true shift to a low carbon, reuse-centered zero waste economy. The ban scope is far too limited, the timeline does not reflect the urgency of the converging waste-climate-pollution-biodiversity global crises, and harmful plastics can continue to be exported. The federal government is not acting like it acknowledges we have a real problem here.
Canadians have been calling for strong and urgent action to tackle our plastic waste and pollution crisis, and today’s proposed ban regulations fall far short of what the public has said they want. Since the Trudeau government announced its intention to ban six single-use plastic items, an overwhelming majority of Canadians expressed support for that list to be expanded. The ban must be comprehensive if we are going to cut our local and global plastic footprint and related climate impact.
The government has not set any production limits on plastic in Canada, letting business as usual continue under the guise of a circular economy for plastics – an oxymoron. The government continues to focus on recycling instead of reduction and reuse, which we know are the key components of any zero waste approach. Canada is currently able to recycle at most 17% of our plastic waste, leaving a steady stream of plastic going straight to landfill, incineration and other climate-harming disposal methods. Relying on a broken model only delays the necessary and inevitable transition to a truly circular, reuse-focused economy.
We annually generate over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste in Canada and this ban covers at most 1 per cent. The federal government boasts a pollution reduction of 23,000 tonnes over 10 years resulting from the ban, but the estimated leakage of plastic into the environment in just one year exceeds that.
We know that big players in the plastic and petrochemical sectors have been lobbying hard against bold action on plastic, and these regulations reflect that. Big oil and big plastic continue to try to keep Canada entrenched in a system that works for their pocket books but not people or the planet. But business models that rely on products and packaging that are not zero waste and reusable should feel threatened because whether they like it or not, the reuse revolution is coming and it’s time for the federal government to intentionally accelerate it.”
Greenpeace is calling for a full phase out of all non-essential plastics, an immediate elimination of petrochemical and plastic subsidies, investment in community-centred reuse-refill infrastructure and a transition to a green and just low carbon, zero waste economy.
The public comment period for the regulations will be open until March 5, 2022. Greenpeace encourages people to call for a comprehensive ban and bolder action by the Trudeau government.
For more information, please contact:
Dina Ni, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada email@example.com; +1 (416) 820-2148
More from Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists helping students learn about climate change
Greenpeace volunteers do incredible things from scaling buildings, hanging from bridges, and dropping banners from massive heights. Around the world, you’ll see them blocking environmental destruction at the source and holding politicians and corporations to account! They march in rallies, lobby their politicians, work with allies, run social media accounts, and talk to people every single day about the world’s injustices and what needs to be done to change course for a healthy future. Photo by Pixabay
Global Indigenous leaders gather in Montreal to call for Indigenous-led nature protection
At a press conference in Montreal’s Hotel10 during COP15, global Indigenous leaders from Brazil, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Indonesia gathered to call for nature protection that centres Indigenous rights and shifts power from industry to Indigenous Peoples and local communities. © Toma Iczkovits Greenpeace
Nature is for everyone—so is defending Her
© Pixabay – Pexels
Stop Shell’s seismic blasting
News and ways to get involved. ©Desiree Laverne.
Return it Statement on new reuse-return cup pilot program launched by Vancouver and major fast food brands
Vancouver Return It — In response to the new reuse-return cup program launched by the City of Vancouver, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, A&W, Starbucks, Return-It, Metro Vancouver
Bribery, fraud and large-scale greenwashing: WHY PLASTIC? exposes the grim reality of plastic ‘recycling’
Greenpeace Plastic Crisis – Nina, a young plastic activist from Indonesia picks up plastic trash (The Recycling Myth). © a&o buero