Canada is right to classify single-use plastics as toxic

Last month, the Canadian government added manufactured plastic items to the list of toxic substances under Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. A group of Canadian industry leaders has launched the Responsible Plastic Use Coalition to pursue legal action against the move.

The legislation change will pave the way for a ban on single-use plastic items that the government considers harmful, such as bags, straws, stirring sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery and hard-to-recycle food containers.

In my view, this bold move should be applauded.

The continued production, use and disposal of single-use plastics is unsustainable and prevents Canada from meeting its commitments under the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste and the Ocean Plastics Charter adopted by the G7 group of countries (T. R. Walker and D. Xanthos Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 133, 99–100; 2018).

Cooperation from all stakeholders, including the plastics industry, is urgently required to address the rapidly growing menace of plastic pollution.

Nature 594, 496 (2021)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-01701-9

Competing Interests

The author declares no competing interests.


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