Action to harmonize regulations banning the use of certain single-use plastics is critical to provide improved environmental outcomes, lower operational and cost impacts for business, and, lower cost impacts for consumers. “Today’s announcement by the federal government that harmful single-use plastics will be banned under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act is a major step in the right direction”, says Philippe Cantin, Senior Director, Sustainability Innovation and Circular Economy for Retail Council of Canada (RCC).
To date, Canadian municipalities have been introducing bylaws to ban single-use plastics and have created confusion both for businesses and consumers as to what is accepted in each jurisdiction. “Harmonized action will provide a much better environmental outcome than having hundreds of municipalities taking widely differing approaches on this issue”, says Philippe Cantin.
In recent years, retailers have been taking steps to reduce the amount of plastics provided to customers. As such, the retail industry has achieved major reductions on the number of plastic bags supplied to Canadians, even before regulations and bylaws started to be implemented. Reductions vary from 30 to 65% depending on the province.
RCC looks forward to working with government on next steps on this initiative.
About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $375 billion in 2018. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants.