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Canada Bans Six Single-Use Plastic Products

Published on
June 21, 2022

Today, the Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, and the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced the publication of the final regulations to prohibit the manufacture, import, sale, and export of six single-use plastic items. The government estimates this ban will result in the elimination of over 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste and more than 22,000 tonnes of plastic pollution over the next decade.

The six items being banned via the Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations(SUPPR) include:

  • Checkout bags
  • Cutlery
  • Foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics that are hard to recycle
  • Ring carriers
  • Stir sticks
  • Straws (with some exceptions)

The prohibition on the manufacture and import of checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, straws (not packaged with a beverage container), and stir sticks will comes into effect as of December 20, 2022, and the prohibition on the sale of these items will be effective as of December 20, 2023, to allow businesses to deplete existing stock.

A ban on ring carrier manufacturing and import is effective as of June 20, 2023. And a ban on the sale of ring carriers and straws packaged with beverage containers (e.g. juice boxes) will come into effect as of June 20, 2024. The regulations include an exemption for the use of plastic straws for people who require them for medical or accessibility reasons.

Furthermore, Canada will ban the export of all six items by the end of 2025. Banning exports was not included in the government’s original regulatory proposal but was added to the final regulation.

The government also published Technical Guidelines for the regulation.

The announcement concludes a multi-year public consultation process that included a Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution, a discussion paper on an integrated management approach to plastic products, and a draft regulation.

During the press conference, Minister Guilbeault acknowledged that other jurisdictions globally are more aggressive on their single-use plastic bans and that Canada is not opposed to restricting additional items in the future. However, Minister Guilbeault also acknowledged that the plastic pollution problem cannot be solved through bans alone and that other actions are necessary to reach the government’s goal of  zero plastic waste by 2030.

A series of echo announcements in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Bedford will occur throughout the day.

Regarding next steps in the pursuit of zero plastic waste, the government will begin consultation regarding approaches to a federal public plastic registry and the development of labelling requirements to improve recycling outcomes this summer. The government will also seek public feedback as it pertains to the labelling of plastic items regarding their ability to be composted.

Happy to help.

The Sussex team continues to closely track all developments regarding the federal government’s plastic waste agenda. Please reach out to the Environment Practice Group, the Federal Practice Group, or your Sussex advisor if you have any questions or for more information.

Robyn Gray, Principal and Environment Practice Lead: rgray@sussex-strategy.com

Christina Marciano, Vice President, Environment: cmarciano@sussex-strategy.com

Devin McCarthy, Senior Vice President and Federal Practice Lead: dmccarthy@sussex-strategy.com

Roberto Chavez, Senior Associate, Federal: rchavez@sussex-strategy.com

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