In November 2018, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) approved in principle the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste (the Strategy), to reduce plastic waste and pollution and recover the value of plastics through reuse, repair, remanufacture, refurbishment and recycling.

Through CCME federal, provincial and territorial governments agreed to develop an Action Plan to implement the Strategy. In June 2019, ministers approved the Phase 1 Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste focusing on the Strategy’s result areas that require actions along the life-cycle of plastics to increase their recovery in the economy: product design, single-use plastics, collection systems, recycling capacity and domestic markets for recycled material. Highlights of Phase 1 actions include:

  • facilitating consistent programs for extended producer responsibility (EPR)
  • developing a roadmap to address single-use and disposable plastics that are commonly released into the environment
  • establishing national performance requirements and standards for plastics
  • promoting incentives for a circular economy
  • assessing waste management infrastructure needs and promoting innovation for improved plastic life-cycle management
  • identifying tools for government procurement practices and greening operations to reduce plastic waste.

The Phase 2 Action Plan targets the remaining result areas of the Strategy that address actions to reduce plastic pollution and serve as enablers to achieve our goal of zero plastic waste.

The Phase 2 Action Plan focuses on actions to:

  • improve consumer, business and institutional awareness to prevent and manage plastic waste responsibly
  • reduce plastic waste and pollution generated by aquatic activities
  • advance plastics science to inform decision-making and measure performance over time
  • address plastics in the environment through capture and clean-up
  • contribute to global action on plastic pollution reduction. Together, these two Action Plans will implement the Strategy, helping Canada reduce plastic pollution, create economic opportunities to recover the value of used plastics and achieve our goal of zero plastic waste.