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431-00038 (Environment)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada draw the attention of the House to the following:

THAT,

Whereas the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is encouraging federal and provincial leaders to take prompt action to minimize waste by developing mandatory Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) programs, including Deposit/Returns;

Whereas Environment Canada published in 2011 that “the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), through the Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility, supports the move towards greater producer responsibility, including work towards transforming 'product stewardship’ initiatives into full EPR Programs”;

Whereas AMO wrote in its 2011 report, Waste Diversion: Creating Greener Choices & Less Garbage, "the only practical and effective way to promote greater producer responsibility and greener consumer choices is to hold industry responsible for the waste it creates”;

Whereas the current waste management structure holds taxpayers responsible for industry waste products and packaging, whether or not the taxpayers purchase the products themselves;

And whereas EPR shifts the costs of waste management from taxpayers to producers, resulting in more environmentally friendly products and less waste produced within the Canadian economy;

THEREFORE,

Your petitioners, call on the Government of Canada to,

Collaborate with the provinces on the immediate development and implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to reduce waste in Canada, including the development of mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs and Deposit/Return programs, which will both reduce environmental impacts and save Canadians' money.

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

In November 2018, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) endorsed an Aspirational Canada-wide Waste Reduction Goal. From a 2014 per person average of 706 kg of all types of waste thrown away, the goal is to reduce this amount to 490 kg per person (a 30% reduction) by 2030, and to 350 kg per person (a 50% reduction) by 2040. Progress will be measured through the Statistics Canada biennial Waste Management Industry Survey kg/capita measure.

Federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers prioritized plastic waste as a first step, and launched the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste (see:  https://www.ccme.ca/files/Resources/waste/plastics/STRATEGY%20ON%20ZERO%20PLASTIC%20WASTE.pdf).

In June 2019, the CCME approved Phase 1 of the Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste. The Plan recognizes that, as one of the most effective mechanisms to support the creation of a circular economy, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is essential to achieving zero plastic waste. The first priority action in the Plan is to develop guidance for jurisdictions that will facilitate consistent EPR policies for plastics. It will identify the components and tools that can be used by jurisdictions across Canada and will include guidance on common material categories and product definitions; performance standards to guide reuse and recycling programs; options to encourage innovation and reduce costs; and clear monitoring and verification approaches. The guidance is scheduled to be completed by December 2020. The Government of Canada has committed to working with provinces and territories to make companies that manufacture plastic products or sell items with plastic packaging responsible for collecting and recycling them. This will form part of the work needed to implement the Government of Canada’s plan to eliminate plastic pollution in Canada, and reach zero plastic waste.

With respect to other waste streams, federal, provincial and territorial ministers agreed to the Canada-wide Action Plan on EPR, as well as a Canada-wide Strategy for Sustainable Packaging, in 2009. For an overview of EPR in Canada and an inventory of recycling programs provided by EPR and product stewardship programs, by product category and jurisdiction, please see: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/managing-reducing-waste/overview-extended-producer-responsibility/inventory-recycling-programs.html

CCME has also advanced work on organics, and in 2018 published a report “National Survey Results: Identification of Stakeholder Views of Opportunities and Barriers for Organics Waste Reduction and Diversion” in order to support jurisdictions’ efforts to decrease the amount of organics going to landfill.

Presented to the House of Commons
Paul Manly (Nanaimo—Ladysmith)
January 27, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00038)
Government response tabled
March 11, 2020
Photo - Paul Manly
Nanaimo—Ladysmith
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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