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Canada Moves Forward With Ban on Certain Harmful Single-Use Plastics

Published on
December 21, 2021

Earlier today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, and the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, announced that draft regulations prohibiting certain single-use plastics have now been published for public comment.

The proposed Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations would prohibit the sale, manufacture, and import of six categories of single-use plastics: checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws. An exception in the proposed Regulations would ensure single-use plastic flexible straws remain available in stores, under certain conditions, for people who need access.

The federal government first committed to banning single-use plastics in 2019. In 2020, additional activity in pursuit of this commitment occurred including the publication of a science assessment of plastic pollution, a discussion paper on a proposed integrated management approach to prevent plastic pollution, and an analysis of available data to determine which single-use products posed the greatest risk. In 2021, the government issued an order adding “plastics manufactured items” to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) which granted the Minister the authority to regulate these products.

An early draft of the proposed Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations can be viewed here. Official publication in Canada Gazette, Part I is expected in the coming days. The public consultation will open on December 25, 2021 and will close on March 5, 2022.

Per the government’s release, the draft regulations reflect input received through the extensive consultations conducted by the Government of Canada since 2019. It is the Government’s intent 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. They will also soon publish draft guidance to help businesses adapt to the requirements of the proposed Regulations.

Happy to help.

Don’t hesitate to contact our team should you have any questions or require more information regarding the proposed regulation and how to participate in the public consultation.

Robyn Gray, Principal and Environment Practice Lead

Christina Marciano, Senior Associate

Devin McCarthy, Senior Vice President and Federal Practice Lead

Roberto Chavez, Senior Associate

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