Ottawa’s plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030 will have virtually no effect on the environment, but will impose high costs on Canadians

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Earlier this week, the federal government announced the first phase of its plan to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030, which will have little to no environmental benefits while imposing a significant cost on Canadians, according to a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, nonpartisan Canadian public policy think tank.

“Canada’s contribution to the global problem of aquatic plastic pollution is virtually non-existent, but banning plastic, almost all of which is properly disposed of in Canada, will impose high costs on Canadians and actually lead to more waste. said Kenneth P. Green, principal investigator at the Fraser Institute and author of Canada’s wasteful plan to regulate plastic waste.

In 2021, the federal government announced its plan to phase out plastic waste by 2030, and earlier this week the government announced the first step: a ban on straws, take-out containers, coffee bags groceries, cutlery, stir sticks and plastic rings used to hold cans or bottles together.

The study reveals that the government’s overall plan will produce little or no environmental benefits. In fact, the government’s own analysis reveals that only 1% of Canada’s plastic waste is released into the environment as waste, with the rest being disposed of properly through recycling, incineration or landfill.

Similarly, Canada’s contribution to global aquatic plastic pollution, when assessed in 2016, was between 0.02% and 0.03% of the global total. The government Zero plastic waste 2030 plan will only prevent an almost undetectable reduction of three thousandths of one percent of aquatic plastic pollution.

And whatever minimal environmental benefits might be gained by banning plastic, they might be outweighed by the increased environmental harm from plastic substitutes, including paper products and organics. Again, based on the government’s own analysis, while the plastic ban will prevent around 1.6 million tonnes of plastic from entering the waste stream, it will add around 3.2 million tonnes of material substitution for a net increase in waste.

Basically, the additional waste generated by plastic substitutes will increase costs to municipalities by $300 million per year, which is just one cost of this policy that will end up being a burden on Canadians.

“Instead of banning plastics in Canada, a measure that will do next to nothing to solve the global problem of plastic pollution, policymakers should instead focus on improper waste disposal in Canada to reduce the small amount of Canadian plastic that ends up being litter,” Green said.


Kenneth P. Green, Principal Investigator Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:Drue MacPherson, Fraser InstituteTel: (604) 688-0221 Ext. 721Email: [email protected]

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and education organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and links to a global network of think tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and widely communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choices on their well-being. To protect the independence of the Institute, it does not accept government grants or research contracts. Visit

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Source: Fraser Institute

Bryce K. Locke