Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) president and CEO Tony Radoszewski warned Canada’s new regulation banning single use plastics contradicts established science and could undermine the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
In a statement Radoszewski said:
“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.”
He went on to say that single-use plastic items are not toxic. “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.”
He also noted the vital importance of plastic items of PPE in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. “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 combating the pandemic. Single serve utensils, containers and carryout bags have allowed restaurants to remain open and serve the needs of their customers.”
Radoszewski asserted that 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.
No alternatives proposed
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The Plastics Industry Association is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing over one million workers in the US$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.