Urgent need to reduce plastic pollution triggered Ottawa’s decision to declare plastic as toxic substanceFeatured
Adapted from ‘Ottawa set to declare plastics as toxic substance’ by Kathryn Blaze Baum from The Globe and Mail https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ottawa-set-to-declare-plastics-as-toxic-substance/
The Canadian federal government has announced that they are moving to classify plastics as a toxic substance, under Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). A substance may be classified as toxic if it is found to cause or have the potential to cause environmental degradation or adverse impacts on biodiversity or human health. Plastics will join the list of substances including BPA, asbestos, formaldehyde, and greenhouse gases. This designation will pave the way for the forthcoming ban on single use plastics, a part of the plan to strengthen environmental conservation efforts nationwide.
Unsurprisingly, industry leaders have voiced their opposition to the decision, citing the ubiquitous nature of plastic products and voicing concerns over the longevity of the industry in light of the new developments.
To make the transition from single use plastics, it is anticipated that product standards will mandate certain items include a specified percentage of recycled content, and companies will be held accountable to ensure the plastic they produce is properly disposed of.
The classification of plastics under the Schedule 1 designation comes after advocacy by environmental organizations who hope this will lead to a ban on certain types of plastic and particular plastic items, as well as fuel the progression of the environmental movement in the country.