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Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de l'environnement et du développement durable

For immediate release


The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development recommends the federal government to take action

Ottawa, June 18, 2019 -

The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development today tabled a report on reducing plastic pollution in Canada.

The report, entitled The Last Straw: Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution in Canada, contains 21 recommendations for the federal government to take a leadership role in addressing plastic pollution in Canada. These recommendations aim to increase the recyclability of plastic goods, avoid plastics being landfilled, and harmonize plastic recycling systems and product standards across Canada. The report stresses the need for increased cooperation among federal, provincial, territorial, and interested governments, as well as industry, to address plastic pollution.

The report calls on the federal government to set a more ambitious target of achieving zero plastic waste by 2030, and to commit to banning harmful single-use plastic products where warranted based on scientific evidence. The Committee recommends that the federal government use the tools of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to manage plastics that are scientifically assessed to be toxic to the environment or human health.

“In Canada, only 9% of plastic is recycled, most ends up in landfills, and approximately 29,000 tonnes are discharged to the environment annually” said Mr. Aldag, the Chair of the Committee. Despite consumers’ and industry’s good intentions, the report found that plastic recycling and plastic alternatives are not yet economically competitive solutions in Canada. “We need to fix this so that the environmental costs of plastics are taken into account. This would allow businesses and consumers to make better decisions to reduce plastic use, to reuse plastic or ensure it is recycled,” added Mr. Aldag.

The findings and the recommendations of the report were informed by the testimony of 41 witnesses and by nine briefs from governmental and non-governmental organizations, scientists, and industry.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for this study consists of 11 MPs. It is chaired by John Aldag (Cloverdale—Langley City). The vice chairs are the Honourable Ed Fast (Abbotsford) and Wayne Stetski (Kootenay—Columbia). The other members are William Amos (Pontiac), Mike Bossio (Hastings—Lennox and Addington), Julie Dzerowicz (Davenport), Darren Fisher (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour), Sean Fraser (Central Nova), Joël Godin (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier), the Honourable Mike Lake (Edmonton—Wetaskiwin) and Joe Peschisolido (Steveston—Richmond East).

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For more information, please contact:
Thomas Bigelow, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
Tel: 613-992-5023