Fraser Institute News Release: Ottawa’s plan to eliminate plastic waste by 2030 has virtually no impact on the environment, but will cost Canadians a high cost

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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 eliminate plastic waste by 2030, which will provide little to no environmental benefit while at the same time high financial costs. about Canadians, finds a new study published by the Fraser Institute, an independent, unbiased Canadian public policy think tank.

“Canada’s contribution to the global problem of water plastic pollution is virtually non-existent, but banning plastic—almost all of which is properly disposed of in Canada—will cost Canadians dearly and could even lead to more waste is generated,” said Kenneth P. Green, a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of: Canada’s wasteful plan to regulate plastic waste

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In 2021, the federal government announced its plan to phase out plastic waste by 2030, and earlier this week announced the first step: banning straws, takeout containers, shopping bags, cutlery, stir sticks and plastic rings used to keep cans or bottles together.

The research shows that the government’s overall plan will yield little to no environmental gain. In fact, the government’s own analysis shows that only one percent of Canada’s plastic waste ever ends up in the environment as litter, while the rest is properly disposed of through recycling, incineration or landfill.

Similarly, Canada’s contribution to global water plastic pollution, assessed in 2016, was between 0.02 percent and 0.03 percent of the global total. from the government Zero plastic waste 2030 This plan will only prevent a nearly undetectable reduction of three thousandths of one percent of plastic pollution in water.

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And the minimal environmental benefits that can be gained from banning plastics may be offset by the greater environmental damage of the plastic substitutes, including paper products and organic materials. Again, based on the government’s own analysis, banning plastic will keep about 1.6 million tons of plastic out of the waste stream, but will add about 3.2 million tons of substitute materials for a net increase in waste.

Crucially, the additional waste generated by the plastic substitutes will increase costs for municipalities by $300 million per year, which is just one cost of these policies that will ultimately burden Canadians.

“Instead of banning plastic in Canada, a move that will do virtually nothing to tackle the global problem of plastic pollution, policymakers should instead focus on improper waste disposal in Canada as a way to reduce the small amount of Canadian plastic that ultimately as litter,’ says Groen.

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Kenneth P. Green, Senior Employee
Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Drue MacPherson, Fraser Institute
Tel: (604) 688-0221 Extension. 721
Email: [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 ties to a global network of think tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept government grants or research contracts. Visit

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