Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999: SOR/2021-86
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 10
SOR/2021-86 April 23, 2021
CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1999
P.C. 2021-316 April 23, 2021
Whereas, pursuant to subsection 332(1) footnote a of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnote 1, the Minister of the Environment published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 10, 2020, a copy of the proposed Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, substantially in the annexed form, and persons were given an opportunity to file comments with respect to the proposed Order or to file a notice of objection requesting that a board of review be established and stating the reasons for the objection;
And whereas, pursuant to subsection 90(1) of that Act, the Administrator in Council is satisfied that the substance set out in the annexed Order is a toxic substance;
Therefore, His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health, pursuant to subsection 90(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnote 1, makes the annexed Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
1 Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 footnote 1 is amended by adding the following in numerical order:
- 163 Plastic manufactured items
Coming into Force
2 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
Plastic manufactured items that are discarded, disposed of, or abandoned in the environment outside of a waste management system (such as a recycling facility or a landfill) constitute plastic pollution. Current scientific evidence confirms that plastic pollution is ubiquitous in the environment, and that macroplastic pollution poses an ecological hazard, including physical harm, to some animals and their habitat. The Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health (the ministers) are satisfied that plastic manufactured items meet the ecological criterion for a toxic substance as set out in paragraph 64(a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA or the Act). In order to develop risk management measures under CEPA to address the potential ecological risks associated with certain plastic manufactured items, the ministers recommended that the Administrator in Council make an order adding “plastic manufactured items” to Schedule 1 to the Act (the List of Toxic Substances).
Description, uses, and sources of release
Broadly speaking, plastics (which are the main ingredients in the manufacture of plastic items) are materials that can be created from a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds. Plastics are formed from long-chain polymers of high molecular mass and often contain chemical additives. Different polymers can be manufactured using different compositions of petroleum products, plant-based starting material, or recycled and recovered plastics.
Plastic manufactured items are any items made of plastic formed into a specific physical shape or design during manufacture, and have, for their intended use, a function or functions dependent in whole or in part on their shape or design. They can include final products, as well as components of products. All plastic manufactured items have the potential to become plastic pollution.
The scientific literature often categorizes plastic pollution by size, in an environmental context. Individual pieces of plastic that are less than or equal to 5 mm in size are referred to as microplastics, while those that are greater than 5 mm in size are referred to as macroplastics. Microplastics can be “primary microplastics” (intentionally produced plastic particles), or “secondary microplastics” (plastic particles resulting from the breakdown of larger plastic manufactured items).
Plastic manufactured items are a part of the everyday lives of Canadians and support economies around the world. Since the 1950s, the production and uses of virgin plastics to form plastic manufactured items have increased at a faster rate than those of any other manufactured material, due to properties such as their versatility, durability, and low cost.
In order to better understand the quantities, uses, and end-of-life management of plastic manufactured items in the Canadian economy, the Department of the Environment (the Department) commissioned the Economic Study of the Canadian Plastic Industry, Markets and Waste (the Commissioned Study), which was published in 2019. The Commissioned Study found that the majority of plastic manufactured items in Canada are concentrated in a number of sectors. The percentage of plastic manufactured items and corresponding amount of plastic waste generated by each of these sectors is detailed in Table 1.
|Sector||Share of end-use plastic market (%)||Plastic waste (kt)||Share of plastic waste (%) table 1 note 1||Examples of plastic manufactured items|
|Packaging||33||1 542||47||Bags, drink bottles, food packaging, medical supplies packaging, toiletries|
|Construction||26||175||5||Siding, window applications, floor and wall coverings, thermal insulation, pipes and pipe fittings, glass substitutes, reconstituted wood, plywood|
|Automotive||10||309||9||Interior trims, seats, seat parts, body panels|
|Electronic and electrical equipment||6||214||7||Electric wires, cables, computer and phone parts|
|Textile||6||235||7||Carpets, rugs, mats, clothing|
|White goods||3||130||4||Major and small appliances, such as fridges, stoves, food processors, electric kettles|
|Agriculture||1||45||1||Fertilizer and pesticide packaging|
|Other||15||617||19||Chemical products, toys, household furniture|
Table 1 note(s)
Sources of release
In Canada, the majority of plastic manufactured items that become plastic waste enter a managed waste stream (i.e. intended for landfilling, recycling, or incineration). Plastic waste that enters the environment outside of a managed waste stream, or that enters a managed waste stream but is accidentally released into the environment, constitutes plastic pollution. The Commissioned Study estimated that the total amount of plastic waste generated in Canada in 2016 was 3 268 kilotonnes (kt), of which 2 795 kt (86%) ended up in a landfill, 305 kt (9%) were recycled, 137 kt (4%) were incinerated, and 29 kt (1%) entered the environment as plastic pollution.
Plastic manufactured items can enter the environment as plastic pollution through a wide range of activities including littering and environmental emergencies (e.g. flooding events), and through the wear-and-tear, abrasion, or maintenance of certain items. They can also be accidentally released into the environment while moving through a managed waste stream, for example, by falling out or being blown away during transport, transfer, or processing, or due to inadequate waste, wastewater, and stormwater management practices. Plastic pollution can be released into terrestrial or aquatic environments and can move from one to the other over its lifetime.
Risk management activities
Plastic manufactured items encompass a wide range of product categories within many sectors of the plastics end-use market, some of which may already be subject to federal risk management activities. For example, aspects of plastic manufactured items relating to consumer safety, energy efficiency, and human health may already be regulated under various Acts of Parliament. footnote 2 Limited federal risk management exists for plastic manufactured items with respect to environmental protection, with one example being the Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations enacted under CEPA that prohibit the manufacture, import, and sale of toiletries containing plastic microbeads.
Other jurisdictions in Canada are currently taking a range of actions consistent with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste. For instance, recycling systems that process plastic waste exist in all provinces, and some domestic jurisdictions have established or are developing requirements to make producers responsible for the collection of the products and packaging they place on the market. Some domestic jurisdictions at the provincial, territorial, or municipal level have announced local prohibitions or restrictions on certain single-use plastic manufactured items, such as checkout bags.
These provincial, territorial, and municipal risk management measures were designed and implemented to address jurisdictional waste reduction and waste management needs, and have thereby resulted in strictly localized impacts. There is currently no existing Canada-wide integrated management of plastics that covers a range of lifecycle stages (e.g. design and manufacture, import, use, waste management) and different plastic sectors (e.g. packaging).
Several international jurisdictions are pursuing measures to address plastic pollution. For example, the European Union (EU) adopted a directive to prevent production of packaging waste and to promote the reuse, recycling, and other forms of recovering packaging waste, alongside another directive to ban nine single-use plastic manufactured items for which alternatives exist on the market (e.g. cutlery, plates, beverage stirrers, and cotton bud sticks). Germany, France, and England have recently implemented national bans on several single-use plastic manufactured items. The United States does not have any federal laws or requirements for plastic waste, recycling, or extended producer responsibility, though many individual states (e.g. California, Maine) have implemented waste reduction and recycling programs concerning plastic products and packaging, and 10 states thus far have passed bans on single-use plastic checkout bags. footnote 3 Other international jurisdictions, notably Australia and China, have announced actions such as sector-based targets for plastic waste.
Science assessment of plastic pollution
On October 7, 2020, a science assessment of plastic pollution (the science assessment) made in accordance with section 68 of CEPA was published on the Canada.ca (Chemical Substances) website. The purpose of the science assessment was to summarize the current state of the science regarding the potential impacts of plastic pollution on the environment and human health, as well as to inform future research and decision making on plastic pollution in Canada. footnote 4 The science assessment recommends pursuing action to reduce macroplastics and microplastics that end up in the environment, in accordance with the precautionary principle.
Summary of the state of the science with respect to the environment
The degradation of plastic pollution in the environment can be a slow chemical and physical process, influenced by factors such as exposure to sunlight, oxidants, physical stress, and the chemical composition of the specific plastic manufactured item. Many plastic manufactured items identified as “biodegradable” only break down when exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods that are only achievable in industrial composting facilities.
Studies have confirmed the widespread occurrence of plastic pollution in many aquatic environments around the globe, including surface waters, sediments, and shorelines, as well as in terrestrial environments. For example, in Canada, studies have found an abundance of plastic pollution in surface waters and sediments within the Great Lakes. Plastic pollution has also been detected in several international study locations, including the Adriatic Sea, the Arctic Sea, the South Pacific, the North Pacific, the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and in the waters surrounding Australia. In 2018, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup removed over 100 tonnes of litter from Canadian shorelines, with 7 out of the top 10 most commonly collected items being either plastics or containing plastics (i.e. cigarette butts, tiny plastics or foam, bottle caps, plastic bags, plastic bottles, straws, and food wrappers).
Certain types of macroplastic pollution (e.g. ropes, nets, cable ties, plastic bags, packaging rings) have been widely reported in the scientific literature to exhibit adverse effects on some animals as a result of entanglement or ingestion. Entanglement can lead to suffocation, strangulation, or smothering, and can even result in mortality. Ingestion can also cause direct harm to organisms by blocking airways or intestinal systems, which can lead to suffocation or starvation. Macroplastic pollution can also impact the integrity of habitats, for example, by transporting invasive species into well-established ecosystems, disrupting their structures and dynamics, or by transporting diseases that can alter the genetic diversity in the ecosystem. In contrast to macroplastic pollution, the potential impact of microplastic pollution on animals is less clear in the scientific literature.
Summary of the state of the science with respect to human health
Exposure to macroplastics (as pollution or otherwise) is not expected to be of concern for human health. There is some scientific literature to suggest that humans may be exposed to microplastics through the inhalation of air, and the ingestion of food and drinking water. The potential hazards of microplastics from inhalation remain uncertain, and there is need for further research in this area. Current knowledge of the occurrence of microplastic particles in food is limited, with little to no Canadian data. The World Health Organization carried out an assessment of human exposure to microplastic particles in drinking water, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the European Food Safety Authority conducted similar assessments of exposure to microplastic particles in seafood, which concluded that potential ingestion of chemicals associated with microplastics is of low concern for human health. Although the science assessment does not identify a concern for human health with respect to microplastics, there is need for further research in this area.
The objective of the Order Adding a Toxic Substance to Schedule 1 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (the Order) is to add “plastic manufactured items” to Schedule 1 to CEPA, which enables the ministers to propose risk management measures under CEPA on certain plastic manufactured items to manage the potential ecological risks associated with those items becoming plastic pollution.
The Order adds “plastic manufactured items” to Schedule 1 to CEPA.
From April 2018 to May 2020, the Government of Canada undertook broad stakeholder engagement on achieving zero plastic waste. During that period and across those engagements, the Department received input from multiple stakeholders and partners (e.g. industry, industry associations, non-government organizations, provinces, territories, and the general public) on options, barriers, and solutions to achieve zero plastic waste in Canada, including adding a substance relating to plastics to Schedule 1 to CEPA. The Department consulted on various policy initiatives through, for example,
- consultations on “Moving Canada toward zero plastic waste,” using the online platform PlaceSpeak from April 22, 2018, to September 21, 2018;
- a 2018 ministerial plastics advisory group composed of stakeholders from industry and civil society; and
- the development of the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste (2018), as well as phase 1 (2019) and phase 2 (2020) of the Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste, with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.
On February 1, 2020, the ministers published a notice with a summary of the draft science assessment (which included a link to the complete draft assessment) in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day public comment period, which was extended until May 1, 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of the Environment and the Department of Health (the departments) received over 70 comments from different stakeholder groups, including over 50 from industry associations or individual businesses. A table summarizing all comments received and the departments' responses to those comments is available on the Canada.ca (Chemical Substances) website.
On October 7, 2020, alongside publication of the final science assessment on the Canada.ca (Chemical Substances) website, the Department published a discussion paper entitled A proposed integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution (the Discussion Paper) to outline potential risk management measures on certain plastic manufactured items. The Department received 205 unique written submissions on the Discussion Paper, representing the views of 245 stakeholders. The majority of these comments focused on potential risk management measures following the addition of plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA, which will be considered during the development of such measures.
On October 10, 2020, a proposed order adding plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA (the proposed Order) was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day public comment period. During this period, the departments received 114 unique written submissions representing the views of 153 stakeholders and partners from a range of groups, including 124 industry associations or individual companies, 18 civil society organizations (mainly comprised of environmental non-governmental organizations [ENGOs]), and five local, provincial, or territorial governments. A table summarizing all comments received and the departments' responses to those comments is available on the Canada.ca (Chemical Substances) website.
From November 2020 to January 2021, the Department also undertook virtual “face-to-face” consultations, including five multi-stakeholder and partner (e.g. industry, industry associations, municipalities, provinces, ENGOs, and the general public) public-access webinars, four multi-stakeholder and partner invitation-based discussion groups, and numerous invitation-based or requested bilateral meetings with key stakeholders. The purpose of this public engagement was to explain the rationale for the proposed Order, outline the proposed risk management approach presented in the Discussion Paper, answer questions, and solicit feedback. Most of the discussion in these sessions focused on potential risk management measures following the addition of plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA.
Below is a summary of the comments received through all consultation avenues with respect to adding plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA, following prepublication of the proposed Order.
Support for adding plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA
Throughout the consultation process, 17 civil society organizations, one territorial government, two local governments, and one organization representing municipalities indicated support for the proposed Order. These stakeholders and partners were of the view that taking action through CEPA constitutes the appropriate choice of instrument, and that the information presented in the science assessment justifies the addition of plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA. Specifically, the sentiment among these stakeholders is that this addition to Schedule 1 to CEPA will allow the Government of Canada to “target sources of plastic pollution and change behaviour at key stages in the lifecycle of plastic products, such as design, manufacture, use, disposal and recovery in order to reduce pollution,” and the stakeholders urged the departments to finalize the Order as soon as possible.
There is also strong support from Canadians to address the issue of plastic pollution and plastic waste. Since October 7, 2020, the Government of Canada received over 23 000 emails from Canadians in favour of federal action on plastic pollution, as well as a petition with the signatures of over 100 000 Canadians calling for urgent action to reduce plastic waste.
Opposition to adding plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA
Throughout the consultation process, 123 industry associations or individual companies, two provincial governments, and one foreign government indicated opposition to the proposed Order.
Several industry stakeholders argued that CEPA is not the appropriate tool to manage plastic waste, suggesting instead that new legislation should be created, or that the federal government should let provincial and territorial governments manage this issue. The departments maintain that CEPA is one of the federal government's key pieces of legislation to prevent pollution that can cause environmental harm, and that the Act provides a broad suite of tools that allow for flexibility to tailor measures to the specific issues that require action. The departments responded that they will work with partners and stakeholders to ensure that any risk management measures developed under CEPA are appropriate, fit-for-purpose, and avoid unintended consequences. Furthermore, the Government of Canada recognizes the central role played by provinces and territories in reducing plastic waste and eliminating plastic pollution, and has worked with its provincial and territorial counterparts on the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to develop the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.
Many stakeholders expressed that the proposed Order did not reflect a risk-based approach to managing toxic substances. Some stakeholders noted inconsistencies with typical processes under the Chemicals Management Plan, such as not assessing chemically distinct substances, and not publishing a draft and final screening assessment that models and evaluates exposures related to the intended use of items and their associated risk of harm. The departments responded that while the typical processes under the Chemicals Management Plan do provide a risk-based approach to managing chemicals, the ministers are not limited to those processes to better understand threats to the environment or human health so that they can determine whether action is justified to prevent pollution that can cause environmental harm. In addition, while screening assessments are required for substances assessed under section 74 of the Act, plastic manufactured items were not reviewed under this authority. The ministers are satisfied that the science assessment shows that plastic pollution has an immediate and long-term effect on the environment, in particular to wildlife and their habitat, and that it provides the evidence to add plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA.
Some industry stakeholders, particularly domestic plastics manufacturers and recyclers, raised concerns that adding plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA could cause economic harm through decreased investment, decreased consumer demand, or increased costs. In particular, they highlighted potential import restrictions, increased handling and transportation costs, and increased compliance burden, such as the need to update safety data sheets. Some industry stakeholders also cautioned that the Order could violate Canada's international trade obligations, including those under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and the World Trade Organization's Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. The departments maintain that orders adding substances to Schedule 1 to CEPA do not, on their own, impose any regulatory requirements on businesses or other entities, and therefore do not result in any incremental compliance costs for stakeholders or enforcement costs for the Government of Canada. Once the ministers propose risk management measures for plastic manufactured items, the departments will assess their benefits and costs and will conduct consultations during the development of such measures. The departments are aware of the federal government's international trade commitments and will continue to respect them, and they maintain that the Order does not run contrary to either the principles or requirements of such agreements.
Many industry stakeholders highlighted the important role that plastic manufactured items play in society, including for health and safety purposes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, some industry stakeholders suggested that the publication of the final Order be withdrawn or delayed. Some stakeholders also expressed concern that adding plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA could confuse or mislead the public about the health and safety aspect of certain items, such as food packaging and medical devices. The departments recognize the role of plastics in the lives of Canadians, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As outlined in the Discussion Paper, the Department will take the health and safety protection provided by certain plastic manufactured items into account during the development of risk management measures.
Several industry stakeholders argued that the Order will create regulatory uncertainty about what specific items the ministers plan to risk manage, and that the Order could lead to risk management measures that reduce the freedom of choice for Canadians. Some stakeholders also advocated against regulatory instruments and in favour of greater collaboration with industry on new recycling and disposal technologies to improve waste management. The Discussion Paper outlines the process that the Department proposed to assess and address the ecological risks associated with certain specified plastic manufactured items. In addition, the departments maintain that the Order itself does not ban or restrict the use of any plastic manufactured items. Any proposed risk management measures for plastic manufactured items will be subject to consultations, and the Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with stakeholders on industry-based solutions, including funding for the development of new and innovative technologies and approaches that complement federal action with respect to the management of plastic waste.
Notices of objection and requests to establish a board of review
The departments received 60 written notices of objection on the proposed Order from industry associations and individual companies, 52 of which included a request for the Minister of the Environment (the Minister) to establish a board of review to inquire into the nature and extent of the danger posed by plastic manufactured items. The Minister has declined to form a board of review with respect to adding plastic manufactured items to Schedule 1 to CEPA. All notices of objection, along with the Minister's response letters, are available on the CEPA Registry.
Many objectors raised policy concerns in their notices of objection. For instance, several objectors stated that not all plastic manufactured items have the potential to cause the ecological harm identified in the science assessment and, accordingly, were of the view that the scope of the proposed Order was overly broad, and it should be narrowed down to the individual plastic manufactured items of concern. Many objectors identified a need to strengthen the science used to inform decision making, and depicted how an independent scientific panel could help fill the scientific gaps remaining in the science assessment before action is taken.
Over 30 notices of objection raised concerns related to the science presented in the science assessment. Two of the most common scientific issues raised by objectors were the completeness of the science assessment and the quality of the studies cited. Some objectors provided references with additional scientific information. Several objectors expressed concern about the lack of information and lack of focus on specific plastic polymers or specific plastic items within the science assessment. Objectors also raised concerns regarding the use of studies exploring the effects of microplastic pollution that did not use environmentally relevant conditions, or conditions relevant to the Canadian environment, as well as the use of studies exploring the effects of microplastics in relation to human health. Several objectors pointed out potential inaccuracies in the science assessment, and many called attention to the need for further research in several study areas.
The departments conducted an analysis of the scientific information provided in the notices of objection, including the additional studies. The departments maintain that the science assessment presents a thorough summary of the science available in the peer-reviewed literature, and considers all data available at the time it was written. Upon review, the departments found that no change to the scientific findings underlying the Order (i.e. that macroplastics can cause harm to the environment) was warranted. To help ensure that this finding was fair, a neutral party within the Department conducted an independent review of the scientific analysis of the notices of objection. This party found that the scientific process had been respected, and that the conclusion is reasonable.
Given the current state of the science, the departments have not identified concerns for human health at this time, and agree with the need for further research in several study areas. The departments acknowledge that the science assessment presents some conflicting evidence in the scientific literature regarding the ecological impacts of microplastic pollution and, accordingly, the science assessment calls for further research in this realm. Notwithstanding the data gaps in these areas, the departments maintain that the findings of the science assessment underlying the Order hold: macroplastic pollution can cause harm to the environment.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
The assessment of modern treaty implications conducted in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation concluded that orders adding substances to Schedule 1 to CEPA do not impose any new regulatory requirements and, therefore, do not result in any impact on modern treaty rights or obligations. As a result, specific engagement and consultations with Indigenous peoples were not undertaken. However, the prepublication comment period provided an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to provide feedback on the proposed Order, which was open to all Canadians. Once the ministers propose risk management measures for plastic manufactured items, the departments will assess any associated impact on modern treaty rights or obligations, and requirements for Indigenous engagement and consultations, during the development of such measures.
The Government of Canada has initiated a comprehensive agenda to achieve zero plastic waste and eliminate plastic pollution by 2030, which will require implementing a range of risk management measures. The departments determined that non-regulatory measures (e.g. voluntary agreements, guidelines, codes of practice) alone would not be sufficient to implement this agenda, and that regulatory measures would also be required.
The addition of a substance to Schedule 1 to CEPA enables the ministers to propose risk management measures. A substance may be added to Schedule 1 to CEPA if the ministers are satisfied that it meets one or more of the criteria set out in section 64 of the Act. Under section 64 of CEPA, a substance is determined to pose a risk to the environment or human health in Canada if it is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that
- (a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;
- (b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or
- (c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
Based on the information provided in the science assessment, the ministers are satisfied that “plastic manufactured items” meet the criteria set out in paragraph 64(a) of the Act. Accordingly, the ministers recommended that plastic manufactured items be added to Schedule 1 to CEPA, which enables the ministers to propose risk management measures under CEPA on certain plastic manufactured items to manage the potential ecological risks associated with those items becoming plastic pollution. Any risk management measures developed under CEPA will be guided by the precautionary principle as set out in paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Act.
The use of CEPA over other existing Acts of Parliament would enable the ministers to access the full range of authorities needed to manage plastic manufactured items along their entire lifecycle. Therefore, adding “plastic manufactured items” to Schedule 1 to CEPA is the preferred option.
Benefits and costs
The addition of “plastic manufactured items” to Schedule 1 to CEPA does not on its own impose any regulatory requirements on businesses or other entities, and would therefore not result in any incremental compliance costs for stakeholders or enforcement costs for the Government of Canada. The Order grants the ministers the authority to develop risk management measures under CEPA for plastic manufactured items. When pursued, these measures could result in incremental costs for stakeholders and the Government of Canada. Once the ministers propose risk management measures for plastic manufactured items, the departments will assess their benefits and costs, and will conduct consultations with stakeholders, Indigenous peoples, the public, and other interested parties during the development of such measures.
Small business lens
The small business lens analysis concluded that the Order has no associated impact on small business, as it does not impose any administrative or compliance costs on businesses. Once the ministers propose risk management measures for plastic manufactured items, the departments will assess any associated impact on small businesses during the development of such measures.
The one-for-one rule does not apply to the Order, as there are no changes in administrative burden imposed on businesses. Once the ministers propose risk management measures for plastic manufactured items, the departments will assess any associated administrative burden during the development of such measures.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
The Order does not directly relate to any domestic or international agreements or obligations. The Order enables the ministers to propose risk management measures that could align and complement actions undertaken by provincial, territorial, and municipal governments towards a coordinated effort to achieve zero plastic waste and eliminate plastic pollution by 2030.
Strategic environmental assessment
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) was completed for the Government of Canada's comprehensive zero plastic waste agenda. The analysis concluded that the full implementation of this agenda will have a significant positive effect on the environment and on Canada's ability to deliver on its Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste, and commitments under the Ocean Plastics Charter. The SEA found that inaction, or limited action, can have significant negative impacts on the environment, including increased stresses on marine life, compromised economic viability of municipal recycling, and increased stress on Canada's limited landfill disposal capacity.
Gender-based analysis plus
No gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) impacts have been identified for the Order.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
As no specific risk management measures are recommended as part of the Order, developing an implementation plan and a compliance and enforcement strategy, as well as establishing service standards, are not necessary at this time. Once the ministers propose risk management measures for plastic manufactured items, the departments will assess these elements during the development of such measures.
Acting Executive Director
Program Development and Engagement Division
Department of the Environment
Substances Management Information Line:
Telephone: 1‑800‑567‑1999 (toll-free in Canada)
or 819‑938‑3232 (outside of Canada)
Plastic and Marine Litter Division
Department of the Environment
Risk Management Bureau
Department of Health