Advancing the circular economy

The Challenge

From wind turbines and solar panels, to vehicles and building materials, to the packaging that allows us to feed the world, plastics chemistry is vital to our economy. These products that enable our modern way of life, however, do not belong in our waterways or in the environment. Today in Canada, nearly 80 per cent of all post-consumer plastics ending up in landfills. The current approach to producing, using and disposing of plastics poses a real threat to the environment and results in a significant loss of value, resources and energy. Images of mismanaged plastic waste in our environment have left many Canadians frustrated about the amount of plastic in their lives and the lack of solutions to address plastic waste.

Our Solutions

The chemistry sector, which includes plastic, has a long, well-established history of innovation to solve society’s most pressing needs by developing new processes and solutions. Our industry supports the transition from a linear economy to a more sustainable approach that prioritizes the extension of product life cycles, extracting maximum value from resources in and after use. Canada’s chemistry industry and its highly skilled workers are uniquely positioned to provide innovative solutions to avoid and extract value from plastic waste. Our industry is stepping up to provide workable solutions.

Setting ambitious targets for a zero plastic waste future

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and CIAC have announced ambitious targets that underscore their members’ commitment to a future without plastic waste: 100 per cent of plastics packaging being reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040, and; 100 per cent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030.

The Role of Chemistry in a Circular Economy for Plastics

This paper identifies the value that plastics bring to our modern and sustainable lives, the urgent global issue of managing plastic waste in our oceans and environment and the chemistry industry’s role in solving this issue.

Alliance to End Plastic Waste

An alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain have launched a new organization to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean, and to do this by transitioning to a circular economy for plastics. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) committed over US$1 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. CIAC members NOVA Chemicals, BASF, Dow and Shell are founding members of the Alliance.

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