Canada’s chemistry sector sees opportunities and challenges on the road to carbon zero

Canada’s chemistry industry shares Canadians concerns on the impacts of a changing climate and the urgency of reducing emissions in line with scientific evidence and Canada’s international commitments.

Achieving the ambitious goal of net-zero carbon emissions for all of Canada by 2050 will require chemistry-based solutions, says Bob Masterson, President and CEO of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.

“Our industry continues to be a solutions-provider to the world’s most challenging problems. We are ready to step up to the challenge, but we need close collaboration to meet this ambitious goal,” says Masterson. “Increasing global attention to mitigating carbon emissions presents an opportunity rather than a threat to Canada’s chemistry industry.”

Canada’s chemistry and plastics sectors create some of the lowest greenhouse gas-intensive products on the planet. Through the U.N. recognized sustainability initiative, Responsible Care®, CIAC’s members have engaged in safe, responsible, and sustainable chemical manufacturing for 35 years. Investments in research and innovation have allowed our sector to modify processes reducing our overall greenhouse gas emissions by 67 per cent since 1992. There is opportunity to do even more while providing Canadian-made products to help other sectors achieve further reductions.

To assist in meeting our shared objectives, our sector will be focused on working with federal and provincial governments in critical areas involving: carbon capture and storage; hydrogen production and utilization; energy efficiency; bio-based chemistries, and; creating a circular economy for plastics, which will allow carbon already in the economy (in the form of post-consumer use plastics) to be continuously recycled and avoid emissions from the production of new plastic resin.

Carefully designed, in collaboration with industry, Canada’s net zero carbon plan has the potential to strengthen Canada’s chemistry sector further and contribute to making Canada’s economy more resilient and competitive. Emission reductions in key sectors such as green buildings, sustainable transportation through light weighting vehicles for greater fuel efficiency, clean energy and sustainable agriculture would be impossible without chemistry and plastics.

To successfully transition to a low-carbon economy and achieve net-zero emission goals, the chemistry sector requires closer collaboration and alignment between the federal and provincial governments through: recognizing the important role of the chemistry sector in research, innovation, and the implementation of climate-focused solutions; promoting active engagement and collaboration with industry, and; supporting the low carbon transition of the chemistry sector.

Canada is a country with diverse energy resources and needs which will require regional solutions and a range of options to address the requirements of Canadians, businesses and industry. We also believe national standards and harmonization between the federal government and the provinces will be vital.

For more information, please see: Chemistry: Essential to Canada’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy Future.

Chemistry Industry Association of Canada Joins Operation Clean Sweep

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s (CIAC) new Plastics Division is pleased to announce it has officially joined the American Chemistry Council (ACC),  Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and 29 other international trade associations in Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS). This important occasion reflects another strong commitment by North America’s plastics industry to product stewardship and reducing plastic resin loss.

Launched in the early 1990s, OCS, which has over 500 participating members, is a plastic stewardship program for facilities that handle plastic materials. The purpose of OCS is to support the proper handling and disposing of plastic pellets, flakes, and powders, and avoiding spills. CIAC also will participate in Operation Clean Sweep Blue, an enhanced OCS program, which provides greater reporting and stronger metrics on practices related to plastic resin loss.

“We welcome CIAC’s participation,” said Patrick Krieger, Director, Sustainability & Materials at PLASTICS. “Their operation of OCS in Canada helps ensure that the plastics industry of North America has the tools necessary to move toward zero plastic resin loss.”

CIAC’s new Plastics Division represents the entire plastics industry value chain from resin producers and raw material suppliers to processors, converters, and recyclers. The Division is committed to promoting responsible plastic production in Canada while working towards reducing and eliminating plastic pollution from the environment.

“CIAC is pleased to join Operation Clean Sweep. Working to unify North America’s plastic industry on the importance of product stewardship and responsible operational practices while focusing our efforts to effectively and efficiently address the issue of plastic pollution is a priority for the industry, and we look forward to working together and reducing plastic pellet loss,” said Elena Mantagaris, Vice President, CIAC Plastics Division.

“Industry collaboration is essential in tackling marine debris, both at home and globally,” said Joshua Baca, ACC’s Vice President of Plastics. “We’re working to enhance the rigor and transparency of our pellet stewardship program, and we’re pleased to have CIAC join us in this important value chain initiative.”

For more information about Operation Clean Sweep®, please visit:


About the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada is the association for leaders in Canada’s chemistry and plastic sectors—adding C$54 billion and C$28 billion respectively to the Canadian economy. The Association represents close to 200 members and partners across the country. We provide coordination and leadership on key issues including innovation, investment, plastics, taxation, health and safety, environment, and regulatory initiatives.

About the Plastics Industry Association

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing over one million workers in the $432 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability. To learn more about PLASTICS’ education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy, and North America’s largest plastics trade show, NPE: The Plastics Show, visit Connect with PLASTICS on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

About the American Chemistry Council (ACC)

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people’s lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $553 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation’s economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.



CIAC pleased to see Ontario government’s budget take steps for long-term economic growth

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) congratulates the Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, on the tabling of the 2020 Budget Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. We firmly support the government’s unprecedented efforts to support Ontario’s people and businesses in the fight against the COVID-19 and develop a framework for economic recovery.

CIAC is very pleased to see the government take concrete steps to create the conditions for long-term economic growth and prosperity. Of note, we highlight the following items:

  • New Electricity Plan for Growth & Job Creation that reduces the burden to industry of the high-cost energy contracts and better positioning Ontario against key competing jurisdictions.
  • Reducing taxes for job creators.
  • Continued commitment to cut unnecessary red tape through the Open for Business Action Plan.
  • Modernizing Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship program.
  • Launching the Invest Ontario organization and focusing its efforts on advanced manufacturing, life sciences and technology.

Ontario’s $24.7-billion chemistry industry is the third largest manufacturing industry in the province, directly employing over 43,800 Ontarians in well-paying jobs and supporting another 260,000 Ontario jobs in other sectors. Our members are key employers in the Sarnia-Lambton, GTA/Niagara and Eastern Ontario regions of the province. Our sector provides important inputs to a range of key manufacturing sectors in the province including automotive, forest products, construction, and food and beverage. The chemistry sector is a key source of innovation and is an indispensable solutions provider in the area of global climate change and managing plastic waste. The industry is global and Ontario’s chemical manufacturers must compete globally both for market share and investment.




CIAC Announces Appointment of New Chair, Vice-Chair, Board Members

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) has welcomed Peter Noble, Chemicals Business Manager, Imperial Oil, as Chair of the Board of Directors for 2021, and Tyler Edgington, President, Dow Chemical Canada ULC, as Vice-Chair.

“It is an honour to serve as Chair. This prestigious organization is guided by the principles of Responsible Care, and it is the ongoing commitment to this ethic that drives our innovative, resilient and solutions oriented industry,” said Peter Noble, incoming Chair of the Board of Directors. “I look forward to our important discussions with stakeholders and leading the Board of Directors as we serve as stewards for our industry, which brings value, health and safety benefits to Canadians.”

Mr. Noble follows outgoing Chair, Ed Bechberger, President of ERCO Worldwide.

“Peter and Tyler have had a long and successful relationship with CIAC. We are very grateful to be able to tap into their deep knowledge of the industry, which will be imperative to leading the Board to guide the association,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.
“I would also like to thank outgoing Chair Ed Bechberger for his vital contribution over the past 12 months. His leadership, enthusiasm for continuous improvement and passion for our industry was palpable and we are grateful to continue to benefit from his expertise,” continued Masterson.

CIAC is also pleased to announce the addition of Magali Depras, Chief Strategy Officer, Transcontinental Inc., Rick Babington, President & Chief Operating Officer, Wentworth Technologies, and Cynthia Shanks, Director, Communications & Sustainability, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, to the association’s Board of Directors. Following the establishment of the CIAC Plastics Division Leadership Council on September 11th, the addition of these members from the Plastics Division to the Board of Directors ensures that all CIAC members are represented at the Board level. Ms. Depras also joins CIAC’s Executive Committee.

“This is an important step in solidifying a strong, unified association,” added Masterson, “CIAC is proud to include chemistry and plastics companies from coast-to-coast. Together we will continue to be a formidable force that advocates for the issues and topics that matter most to our members.”

CIAC Responds to Ontario Government Improving Blue Box Program

The Chemistry Industry of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to support the Ontario Government’s recently announced plan to make a stronger, more effective Blue Box Program. The province is showing leadership that will help reduce the amount of waste entering the environment while moving toward a circular economy that focuses on recapturing, recycling, and recovering waste so it can be used as a valuable resource.

CIAC and its members also support implementing full Extended Producer Responsibility in the province, which transitions costs away from municipal taxpayers by making the producers of products and packaging fully responsible for costs and management of recycling systems. The government estimates municipalities will see a saving of $135 million annually. By adopting EPR, this places a natural incentive on producers to take the entire life cycle management of products into consideration, from selection of material and product design, to its recovery, recycling, and end-of-life management.

Ontario is just one of many provinces modernizing and advancing its recycling systems towards a circular economy by implementing producer-lead recycling programs and investing in innovations in recycling technology. CIAC believes that to eliminate waste from our environment, cooperation is key and this announcement shows the Ontario Government is eager to work with industry and other stakeholders to eliminate waste while rebuilding our economy.

CIAC Responds to Federal Government’s proposed integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution

Plastics are vital to our modern way of life and are used to advance our society’s environmental, health and safety priorities, including a transition to a net-zero emissions future. However, plastic does not belong in landfills or the environment, it belongs in the economy.

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), remains firmly of the view that the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), 1999 is not an appropriate tool for managing post-consumer plastic waste. CIAC supports the development of national waste legislation that will provide the appropriate authorities and the tools to support advancing a circular economy for plastics in Canada.

CIAC is also concerned with the emphasis on banning certain products solely because they are widely used in society and are improperly managed at end of use. Our goal, as a society, must be to properly manage and establish a circular economy for all plastics products. Today, important work is being done in all jurisdictions, including Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, to modernize and advance recycling systems towards a circular economy.

CIAC believes the Government of Canada should allow the appropriate time for consultation with industry and the provinces to ensure that its proposed approach to a circular economy for plastics is in line with the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME) National Strategy and Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste. We ask the Government to delay the timing of the addition of “manufactured plastic items” to Schedule 1 of CEPA in Canada Gazette Part 1 from October 10 until a period following the end of the public consultation on its Discussion Paper. This would allow sufficient time for industry and the provinces to provide input and ensure a decision is not made prematurely.

Canada’s plastics producers are taking important actions to address plastic waste on land, including source reduction, design for recycling, and reuse models; and investing in technologies to improve recycling. They have also made circular economy commitments to ensure that:
• 100 per cent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030;
• 100 per cent of plastics packaging being reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040; and
• Implementation of Operation Clean Sweep by 2022, an international plastic stewardship program aimed at eliminating the escape of plastic pellets from industry operations, with a focus on preventing leakage into rivers and oceans.

Canada’s plastics manufacturers add $28 billion to the national economy annually and directly employ over 93,000 Canadians within 1,850 different businesses; 86 per cent of these are SMEs and the impact and job losses will be felt in communities across the country by family-run companies that have been operating for multiple generations.

CIAC will be providing advice to the federal government regarding its proposed integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution and we look forward to working with all levels of government in Canada to transition to a circular economy for plastics while maintaining well-paying jobs for thousands of Canadians.

Retired CIAC President Jean Bélanger, Honoured by the European Chemical Industry

On October 13, the man considered the godfather of Responsible Care®, retired CIAC President Jean Bélanger was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Ceifc, the European Chemical Industry Council.

In pre-recorded messages, Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General presented the award to Jean followed by his acceptance.

“We are very proud of Responsible Care, we do a lot of work in this area; we invest in it, we build on it, we revitalise it, and we also think it’s important to honour the people who made this enormous contribution to our sector,” said Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General during the ceremony.

Read more:

“It is truly remarkable to look back at the evolution of Responsible Care. Its relevance is more important today, than ever before.  Jean and his team were visionaries, and we are proud to carry on the work that they began 35 years ago”, said CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson.

Jean was also asked to share some background on the development of Responsible Care.  His speech was shared with participants in a pre-recorded message read by his son, Pierre:

PolyExpert Earns Safe Quality Food certification

PolyExpert, well-known manufacturer of blown film for the food industry, receives SQF certification.

Laval, Quebec, August 26, 2020 – PolyExpert, a Canadian leading manufacturer of extruded blown film, proudly announces that it is now Safe Quality Food certified.

“As a film manufacturer, we have been supplying the food packaging industry for many years, so we understand the importance of food security in the supply chain. The SQF certification testifies to the fact that our procedures and our facilities meet the most demanding criteria in terms of food safety,” says Lise Plante, Managing Director. “This further demonstrates that we are deeply committed to our customers and business partners”.

The Safe Quality Food (SQF) program is a rigorous food safety and quality program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners and food service providers around the world. Issued by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the certification is designed to meet industry, customer and regulatory requirements for all sectors of the food supply chain – from farm to retail stores.

Douglas Lord, Vice-President of Operations, underlines “our multidisciplinary teams have really mobilized to take this important step. For over a year, we have made several improvements, reviewed all our procedures, processes, facilities; no stone was left unturned. This project would not have been possible without the support of management and the involvement of our employees. We are very proud of our people and of this accomplishment”.

Remembering David Podruzny, CIAC Vice-President, Business and Economics (retired)

Many of you will have heard the sad news, on August 21st CIAC lost a long-time friend and colleague, David Podruzny.  Dave passed away suddenly from cardiac arrest while out for an evening run in Edmonton.

Following a career with the federal government, Dave embarked on a second career with CIAC in 1994, where he spent the next 24 years until retiring in December 2018.  To say his passing was a shock to those who knew him — colleagues in both industry and government — would be a gross understatement. Dave was passionate about the work he did on behalf of CIAC members and the broader industry.  And while some would say he was a workaholic, he had that same passion and commitment to his family, his beliefs and the causes he supported.

Dave had a curious mind and was a voracious reader.   He could hold court on any subject – and given the chance to do so, he seized it.  You never knew where a conversation with Dave would lead, but his skilled storytelling always made it interesting.

One of the fittest, most active retirees we knew – Dave was a runner, downhill skier, and hiker.  Following his retirement, he and his wife Faye left Ottawa to be closer to family, returning to their roots in Alberta (another passion), the ultimate place to be for a Canadian who loved the mountains and the adventures that they offered.

A small graveside service was held on August 28th, what would have been Dave and Faye’s 49th wedding anniversary.  Dave’s son Kyle so eloquently delivered a eulogy, on behalf of CIAC, that paid tribute to our friend and colleague, gone too soon.

Rest in peace Dave.

Read David’s Obituary:

View Funeral Live Stream (1 P.M. MT, Friday, September 3rd):

The Chemistry Industry 2021 Federal Pre-Budget Consultation Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance

Receive our weekly e-newsletter with the latest news on the chemistry industry in Canada.

Select list(s) to subscribe to