Volume III | April 2021
April 2021 Newsletter
The Plastics Division and its Members continue to chart a forward-looking agenda to enable the establishment of a circular economy for plastics in Canada. The Division’s 3-year strategy and action plan lays out an ambitious agenda that is focused on collaborative efforts between industry, governments and research institutions to achieve our common goal for circularity.
 
Plastics are crucial for a sustainable, modern economy and will play a key role in helping Canada reach its environmental commitments. However, to achieve a circular economy for plastics, it is clear that a multi-faceted and multi-sectoral approach is required to drive forward required research in product design, improvements in mechanical and advanced technologies, as well as standards to develop end-markets for recycled plastic content. The aspirations can only be met by joint efforts to develop pragmatic solutions that recognize post-consumer plastics as a resource that should remain in the economy, not the environment.
 
One example where critical action is required is the improvement of the recycling infrastructure across this country. The CIAC Plastics Division supports efforts by provinces to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility programs that will require industry to pay for and manage harmonized recycling systems across the province. However, this is only the first step. As part of our response to the Federal Government’s discussion document on the national infrastructure required for the future, we will be advocating that recycling infrastructure should be considered essential to responsible management of post-consumer materials while also having the added benefit of providing economic development opportunities in clean, green technologies.
 
Just as we are trying to improve upon and grow a robust recycling system and eliminate plastic waste, a Federal Private Member’s Bill C-204 is threatening to undermine the North American eco-system of recycling facilities and markets. This well-intentioned though misguided initiative fails to understand the complex trade relationships that exist for sorting and recycling plastics and could hamper the transboundary movement of post-consumer plastics despite international agreements in place for environmentally sound management practices. The CIAC Plastics Division will continue to advocate against Bill C-204 and I urge you all to speak with your Member of Parliament to raise your concerns


Elena Mantagaris, VP, CIAC Plastics Division
CIAC Representatives Appear at Environment and Sustainable Development Committee
On Monday, March 15, CIAC’s President and CEO, Bob Masterson, and Plastics Division Vice-President, Elena Mantagaris appeared before the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee to speak against Bill C-204 which will ban Canadian exports of plastic waste for final disposal. While a majority of content in plastic bales will end up recycled, limited sorting capabilities in Canada mean that bales contain a mix of materials, some of which will inevitably end up in final disposal.

This Bill risks preventing the transboundary movement of any plastics that may be disposed of, thereby limiting shipments of plastic bales and undermining the integrated North American recycling market. 
Read Bill C-204
 
Bob and Elena will also be appearing before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development on April 7, 2021. The Committee is conducting a study on the impacts of the ban on single-use plastic products and designating plastics on the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The study will examine the impacts on small businesses and the plastics production industry, including jobs, and the impacts on human health and the environment. 
BC Drafting Regulations Surrounding Single-Use Plastics
The British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is in the process of drafting a Minister’s Regulation under the Community Charter that will detail how municipalities may prohibit and impose requirements on specific single-use plastics. The proposed Regulation is intended to enable municipalities to enact plastics ban bylaws, without the need to seek Ministerial approval, while also enhancing provincial consistency.

Products being considered are plastic bags (including compostable and biodegradable plastic), straws, utensils, and polystyrene foam serviceware. The deadline to submit feedback/input on the proposed regulation is April 7, 2021 and should be sent to: alison.fung@gov.bc.ca
  
Federal Government Launches National Infrastructure Assessment
The Federal Government recently announced they are developing an Engagement Paper on Canada’s first National Infrastructure Assessment and are seeking input from stakeholders, including industry.
 
The three priorities of the assessment include:

  • Assessing Canada’s infrastructure needs and establishing a long-term vision;
  • Improving coordination among infrastructure owners and funders; and
  • Determining the best ways to fund and finance infrastructure.

The deadline for feedback is June 30, 2021.

Alberta Launches Consultations on EPR and Waste Management
As Alberta moves toward an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model for the province and moves toward a circular economy for plastic and waste, the province is holding consultations with stakeholders on how to best implement EPR.

Consultations will occur with municipalities, industry experts, Indigenous communities through stakeholder meetings and with the public through an online survey.

  
Upcoming Operation Clean Sweep
Webinar
CIAC's Plastics Division is excited to be launching Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) this month. Operation Clean Sweep is an international stewardship program designed to prevent plastic resin loss and help keep this material out of the marine environment. As a CIAC Plastics Division member, your commitment to the OCS program is built into your membership. All CIAC Plastics Division members have committed to implementing OCS by the end of 2022.
 
CIAC PD members are invited to a webinar on April 29, 2021 to learn more about the program and what they can do to advance implementation. Registration details will be announced soon.  
Register for Virtual Women in Food Industry Management Conference
TC Transcontinental's Chief Strategy Officer, Magali Depras, will be participating in the Women in Food Industry Management conference on April 23rd to talk about TC Transcontinental's journey in sustainability and its circular economy strategy.

Proceeds from the conference will be donated to Food Banks Canada.
This is an annual conference that brings together the retail sector and CPGs. It will be virtual this year of course.

Click here to register (enter the code ss21 to get the member rate)
Inter Pipeline Joins Alliance to End Plastic Waste
Recently, Inter Pipeline officially announced that it has joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
 
Formed in 2019, the Alliance consists of more than 50 member companies and supporters representing global companies and organizations from across the plastic value chain. The Alliance partners with government, environmental and non-governmental organizations around the world to address the challenge of ending plastic waste in the environment.

Feds Announce $4.5 M in Funding for On-Farm Sustainability Projects
Recently, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau announced more than $4.5 million in funding for new projects that will improve plastic waste management and on-farm sustainability.

Cleanfarms will receive up to $1.1 million through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program to develop a strategy to responsibly manage the estimated 60,000 tonnes of plastic waste generated on Canadian farms every year.

WCEF Innovation Challenge to Include City of Toronto
The City of Toronto is participating in the WCEF Circular Innovation City Challenge.

This important program is focused on seeking out innovative prototypes and market-ready digital and data-driven solutions that will help create circular and thriving cities.

Applications are being accepted up to April 23, 2021.

Four Available Funding Programs from Québec Government
The Québec Government has developed four funding programs to support business innovation projects, including those that help advance a circular economy for plastics. Program funding is available for individual company projects as well as initiatives that bring several companies together to work in collaboration.

Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis and the demand is already high. We encourage members in Québec to review these programs and explore these important opportunities to advance important plastics-related projects.    

CIAC Members Advance Circular Great Lakes Initiative
Several leading members of the CIAC Plastics Division are advancing the Canada-US ‘Circular Great Lakes’ initiative which will be a catalyst for identifying transformational projects, partnerships, and mobilizing public-private investments to ensure plastics never become waste or pollution in the region.

CIAC Plastics Division Welcomes New Policy Analyst
The CIAC Plastics Division is pleased to welcome Savina Caporali to the team as our new Policy Analyst for the Plastics Division. She will work to address policy issues related to plastic waste management and advancing a circular economy for plastics. 
 
Savina is a bilingual sustainability professional who has worked for international organizations, the Federal government, and non-profits in Canada and in Europe. Most recently she worked with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts leading their sustainability program in the Canadian western mountain region. In this role, she focused on improving the use and management of energy, solid waste, hazardous waste, recycling, and water for the company. Savina was also on the Board of Directors for the Recycling Council of Alberta.    
Why Innovation Matters a Q+A
with Pyrowave's Jocelyn Doucet
CIAC Plastics Division, Pyrowave, is a true Canadian success story. Their innovative microwave technology breaks down plastics into their original building blocks so they can be consistently reused and turned into other useful products.
 
Jocelyn Doucet recently sat down with GettingPlasticsRight.ca to discuss why innovation is crucial for Canada to create a circular economy for plastics.

News and Important Headlines
CIAC Plastics Division, Featured in National Observer Series on Plastics
On the week of March 8th, the National Observer ran a series of stories that looked at the topics of plastics and plastic waste in Canada, ranging from the "backroom battle" between industry and Ottawa to recycling effectiveness and the industry's views on plastic manufactured items being listed on CEPA's Toxic Substances List.

Read Part 1: The backroom battle between industry, Ottawa and environmentalists over plastics regulation
Read Part 2: Canada is drowning in plastic waste — and recycling won't save us
Read Part 3: Plastics industry bracing for toxics listing this spring
CIAC PD Members Pyrowave and GreenMantra Featured in Globe and Mail
Article on Plastics Consumption

In a recent piece in the Globe and Mail, GreenMantra and Pyrowave were featured in an article that focused on Canada's plastic consumption and the homegrown innovations Canadian companies are developing that are helping combat plastic waste and develop a circular economy for plastics.

Popular Youtube Channel, SciShow, Releases Balanced Video on the 'Truth About Green Grocery Bags'

With close to 7 Million subscribers, the popular Youtube Channel SciShow, hosted by Hank Green, recently published a balanced, science-based video that examines the real environmental costs of plastic bags compared to the often touted alternatives.

In Case You Missed It

Dow's Plastic-Focused Podcast

Have you heard the Plastics Unwrapped Podcast? Now with three episodes available, this important podcast explores the world of sustainability and plastics, through bite-sized episodes featuring a range of guest experts.


Extended Interview with Ellen Macarthur Foundation's Joss Bleriot

In the last issue of the CIAC Plastics Division Newsletter, we published a shortened version of an interview performed by PD member PolyExpert, with Joss Bleriot, executive lead—institutions, governments, and cities—with the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.

If interested, take a moment to read this extended interview in the FlexPack Voice.

Have news, interesting content or upcoming events for the CIAC PD newsletter?

We want to hear from you! This newsletter is designed to communicate content that matters most to the Plastics Industry. The goal is to consistently develop new and interesting information, so feel free to reach out with your content ideas anytime.