Canada Plastics Ban and ‘Toxic’ Label Contradict Science, Could Undermine USMCA Trade Deal

October 7, 2020

Today, after the Canadian government announced bans on plastic products, labeling the hygienic material ‘toxic,’ Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) President & CEO Tony Radoszewski warned the new regulation contradicts established science and could undermine the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), harming jobs and economic growth:

“The action being taken by the leaders in Ottawa to ban and label plastics as toxic is an irresponsible ploy to create a workaround Provincial authority relating to plastics legislation. By designating plastics as ‘toxic’, the Canadian government is recklessly making policy that could have significant negative impacts on human health. 

“Simply put, the single-use plastic items we use every day are not toxic, but in fact are lifesaving. For over 50 years and investing tens of millions of dollars, we and our members have been working with federal agencies to clearly demonstrate the non-toxicity and safety of plastics. 

“It’s even more apparent today that plastic gloves, face masks, hospital gowns, as well as drug packaging and complex medical devices, have been critical to combatting the pandemic. Single serve utensils, containers and carryout bags have allowed restaurants to remain open and serve the needs of their customers. Furthermore, plastic packaging helps to ensure freshness and quality of foods and to prevent food waste; bottles use fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less energy than other materials; and products like flexible pouches produce much less waste and take less energy to make than other materials.

“Placing a ban on plastic products will have a tremendous impact on our environment, public health and economic growth. And as is typically noticed with overreaching government mandates such as this, no alternative options are mentioned that will continue to meet the needs and protect the safety of the population. 

“Everyone can agree that plastic waste, or any waste for that matter, does not belong in the environment. Our industry is leading the development of solutions for proper disposal, collection, recycling, reuse and repurposing that will address environmental concerns while allowing people to continue benefitting from this amazing material. Bans are the wrong answer. Educating consumers on the benefits of plastics and how to properly dispose of them is the right answer.”

About Plastics Industry Association

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing over one million workers in the $432 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability. To learn more about PLASTICS’ education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy, and North America’s largest plastics trade show, NPE: The Plastics Show, visit Connect with PLASTICS on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.