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. The federal government has committed to take action toward a resource-efficient life-cycle approach to plastics waste management. 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. But these ambitions will not be easy to achieve and will require significant investment and cultural shifts towards a more circular economy. Our industry is stepping up to provide workable solutions.