Canada Announces Creation Of A Federal Plastics Registry



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On the eve of the fourth session of the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (or INC-4) on Plastic Pollution in Ottawa, the Federal Government announced the creation...
Canada Environment
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On the eve of the fourth session of the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (or INC-4) on Plastic Pollution in Ottawa, the Federal Government announced the creation of the new Federal Plastics Registry ("Registry"). The Registry is part of Canada's Zero Plastic Waste Agenda and will require a wide range of entities to annually report on the quantity and types of plastics and associated materials they manufacture, import, place, and manage on the Canadian market. The Registry will gather data to support actions to prevent plastic pollution, aiming to "keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment." Reporting for some entities will be required for the 2024 calendar year. The reporting system will be available in the second half of 2024, and 2024 reporting must be submitted by September 29, 2025.

The Registry was established pursuant to s. 46 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which allows the Minister to require any person to provide information to the Ministry. The Registry's reporting requirements are summarized below.

Who is Required to Report?

A wide range of companies involved in the production, circulation and management of plastics in the Canadian economy will be required to report to the Registry. More specifically, the Registry will apply to all entities that:

  • Manufacture, import, or place plastic resins on the market in Canada.
  • Produce plastic products (ie: "producers", as defined below).
  • Generate packaging and plastic product waste at their industrial, commercial, or institutional facilities.
  • Provide services in the management of plastics or plastic products, including collecting or hauling, recycling, refurbishing, remanufacturing or repairing, landfilling and incineration with or without energy recovery.

For the purpose of the Registry, an entity may be a "producer" of a plastic product if it is:

  • A brand owner or intellectual property holder resident in Canada;
  • The first resident person in Canada to import or manufacture the product;
  • The Canadian retailer who supplied the product to the consumer; or
  • The owner or operator of an online consumer-facing marketplace that provides for the storage, sale or shipping of another entity's products.

For the 2024 reporting year, reporting requirements will be limited to the following categories of plastics placed on the Canadian marketplace: (1) packaging , (2) electronic and electrical equipment, and (3) single-use of disposable plastic products.

This reporting must be submitted by September 29, 2025.

Who is Exempt from Reporting?

Entities that manufacture, import, generate or manage less than one tonne of plastic products or packaging in the Canadian marketplace will not be required to report to the Registry.

What Must be Reported?

Entities will be required to report, with respect to their activities in the Canadian market, the quantity and types of plastic and plastic resins:

  • Manufactured, imported, and placed on the market.
  • Plastic waste generated at a facility.
  • Plastic collected and sent for diversion and disposal.

The products include rigid and flexible plastic packaging, some electronic and electrical equipment, and certain agriculture and horticulture products.

What's Next?

The Registry is the first significant measure undertaken by the Federal Government as part of their Zero Plastic Waste Agenda, with the overall goal to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030. Canada also indicated that regulations with respect to recycled content and labelling requirements for plastics will be introduced by the end of 2024.

The reporting system for the Registry will be available by the second half of 2024.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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