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Jennifer Killinger
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WASHINGTON (May 12, 2021) – The Canadian government today listed “plastic manufactured items” on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), in effect labeling these items as “CEPA Toxic.” The American Chemistry Council issued the following statement, which may be attributed to Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics:

“America’s plastic makers are deeply committed to ending plastic waste, but listing “plastic manufactured items” as “CEPA toxic” is likely to cause undue alarm and confusion among consumers who have relied on these helpful, well-studied plastic products for decades. Banning efficient plastic products will likely lead to forced substitutions with alternatives that increase greenhouse gas emissions and prevent the transition to a low-carbon future.

In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, a renowned analysis by the environmental firm Trucost found that replacing common plastic packages and products with alternatives would increase environmental costs nearly four times. And a separate study found that switching from plastic packaging to alternatives would increase the amount of packaging generated annually by 55M tons and increase greenhouse emissions gases by 130%.

America’s plastic makers and their value chain partners are working to make plastics even more efficient by leading efforts to eliminate plastic waste through innovation, investment and public policies that accelerate our transition to a more circular economy, where plastics are systemically designed for recapture and reuse. In the last three years, the private sector has announced $5.5 billion in U.S. investments to dramatically modernize plastics recycling. And we’re actively supporting public policies designed to create a 21st century regulatory framework to accelerate a circular economy; significantly increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging; develop a national recycling framework to help businesses, communities and families recycle more plastic; and ensure more and different types of plastic are recycled through traditional and advanced recycling technologies.

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) also provides an opportunity for collaboration to end plastic waste in the environment, which is another step that can be taken to create a more circular economy for plastics.

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