CIAC responds to Ontario Government’s improvements to Blue Box Recycling

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) recognizes  Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ recently announced plans to improve the Ontario Blue Box recycling program and its intentional approach of moving toward a harmonized Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program.  

An EPR program — where industry is responsible for the cost, collection, and management of recycling in the province — is the most efficient and effective way to improve recovery and recycling rates and develop a circular economy for plastics.  

“A circular economy, of which EPR programs play a key role, will sustain economic growth while improving the environment for future generations,” said Elena Mantagaris, Vice President, CIAC Plastics Division. “When managed responsibly, plastics are the modern sustainable choice for a prosperous economy and healthy environment.”  

Canada’s plastics industry is dedicated to playing its role in the fight against plastic waste, and this innovative approach by the Ontario Government will help us reach two key goals: 

  • By 2030, 100 per cent of plastic packaging in Canada will be recyclable or recoverable 
  • By 2040, 100 per cent of plastic packaging in Canada will be reused, recycled, or recovered 

We look forward to working with the province to ensure that all recycling and recovery approaches are supported in a circular economy for plastics. 

CIAC Plastics Division members GreenMantra Technologies and Cleanfarms recognized for innovating to reduce plastic waste

GreenMantra Technologies Limited and Cleanfarms Inc., members of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) Plastics Division, were recently recognized for their outstanding work in reducing plastic waste in Canada through innovation today. 

GreenMantra Technologies Limited, a Brantford, Ontario chemical recyclerwill receive $300,000 as part of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s challenge to Canadian companies to find innovative, efficient and cost‑effective ways to recycle single-use personal protective equipment used in healthcare. In total, eight small and medium-sized Canadian companies will receive funding for projects that will support Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic 

The Government of Manitoba announced that Cleanfarms Inc. has been chosen to operate a provincially regulated stewardship program on behalf of the agricultural industry and manage the collection and recycling of agricultural plastics. Manitoba producers will be able to drop off used grain bags and plastic baler twine at designated collection sites throughout the province without paying user feesCleanfarms, an Etobicoke, Ontario based non-profit environmental stewardship organization focused on agriculture waste management, will arrange for pickup, transportation and recycling of these materials from the collection sites. 

“Our Plastics Division members like Green Mantra and Cleanfarms continue to amaze us with their innovative solutions to reducing plastic waste,” said Elena Mantagaris, Vice-President of CIAC’s Plastics Division. “We are delighted that our members have been selected to develop and lead these important solutions for Canadians.”  

Members of the CIAC Plastics Division have ambitious targets that underscore our 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.   

For full details on the CIAC Plastics Division’s commitments to managing post-consumer plastics, visit 

CIAC clarifies stance on legal challenge presented by the Responsible Plastic Use Coalition

Ottawa, ON, May 20, 2021 – The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) wishes to clarify that the association is not a participant in the Responsible Plastic Use Coalition (RPUC), nor the legal proceedings initiated by the Coalition. CIAC is a policy and advocacy organization and without mandate to initiate or participate in legal proceedings on behalf of its membership.

“We share RPUC’s disappointment with the Government of Canada’s May 12 decision to list all plastic manufactured items on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA),” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada. “We believe that plastics belong in the economy and not in the environment. Nevertheless, we share RPUC’s belief that CEPA is the wrong tool to address concerns with post-consumer plastics. “ Read our statement here.

As an organization, CIAC remains intently focused on building an enabling policy environment for a circular economy for plastics. This includes an intense program of work with provincial governments coast-to-coast as they work to develop and modify Extended Producer Responsibility programs and implement other aspects of the jointly agreed Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Zero Plastic Waste Action Plan.

Statement by the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada on Canada Gazette II Order regarding “plastic manufactured items”

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) expressed disappointment with the Government of Canada’s move today to list all plastic manufactured items on Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). 

We remain concerned that today’s decision sends the wrong message to global chemistry investors, namely that Canada is ambivalent about the enormous investment prospects for the circular economy for plastics.   

“Let us be clear, one piece of plastic waste in the environment is one too many,” said Elena Mantagaris, VicePresident of Chemistry Industry Association of Canada’s (CIAC) Plastics Division. “This is why Canada’s plastics industry is committed to solving the plastic waste problem and has set a goal to make 100 per cent of plastic packaging recyclable or recoverable by 2030 and embracing advanced recycling technologies to make plastics packaging 100 per cent recovered and recycled by 2040. 

“By making plastics completely recyclable and transforming waste into new plastic items and other products, we can help Canada realize its goal of zero plastic waste. 

While the government has exercised its authorities, CIAC is disappointed that safe inert plastic materials that play such important roles in Canadians lives are being labelled as toxic substances. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada heard clearly from the industry, and a broad cross-section of other industries where plastics play an important role, that such a move would do little to keep post-consumer plastics out of the environment.  

CIAC continues to believe that CEPA is not an appropriate legislative instrument for managing post-consumer plastics.This is why we are advocating instead for a national circular economy framework that includes six strategic areas of focus to build a circular economy for plastics in CanadaThese are: 

  • Product design  
  • Increase access to recycling and collection  
  • Improve sortation capabilities  
  • Strengthen mechanical and advanced recycling capabilities  
  • Grow and expand end-markets  
  • Engage and educate consumers  

We will continue to work with the federal government to understand the scope of impacts on businesses stemming from regulations expected later this year. Our attention remains firmly focused on working with the provinces to advance extended producer responsibility initiatives coast to coast and creating more enabling policy and investment environments to support a circular economy for plastics. 

Ontario government’s efforts to streamline regulation for the chemistry and plastics industry welcomed by CIAC

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) congratulates the Ontario government and the Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction on releasing the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020.

CIAC firmly supports the Ontario government’s commitment to streamline duplicate regulations that impact the competitiveness of the chemicals and plastics manufacturing sectors.  These measures will eliminate unnecessary cost, complexity and time, while protecting Ontarian’s health and the environment.

Among the initiatives contained in the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2020., CIAC is very pleased to see the province:

Protect the environment and the people of Ontario by improving hazardous waste reporting

  • Making it easier for businesses to submit reports electronically instead of the current outdated system, which requires businesses to submit over 450,000 paper manifests to the Ministry of the Environment.

Address low-risk nuisance incidents

  • Update Ontario’s land use compatibility planning guidelines to help municipalities prevent new residences or other incompatible land uses from being approved near sites and industries that may create noise or odour impacts.

Support innovation and recover the value of waste

  • Committing to further engagement to support a strong circular economy and reduce the amount of waste going to landfills through the use of innovative technologies and processes such as advanced recycling and energy recovery technologies to help ensure valuable resources such as hard-to-recycle plastics can have a beneficial use, such as feedstocks for new plastics and synthetic fuels.

Alternate rules for the Operating Engineers regulation

  • Implementing alternate rules for businesses that use boilers or pressure vessels to produce their goods and services, as well as for operating engineers who run the facilities while maintaining strong commitment to ensuring public safety.

Consultations on proposed amendments for Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews (PSR)

  • Continuing consultations aimed at amending the current Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews PSR requirements for certain equipment and processes in factories to ensure they continue to reflect the realities of today’s workplaces.

Any action by CIAC members to address the environmental, economic and community impacts of our operations are governed by Responsible Care®, the UN-recognized initiative that ensures CIAC members innovate for safer and greener products and processes, and work to continuously improve their environmental, health and safety performance. Through the Responsible Care commitment, CIAC’s Ontario members have achieved a 47 per cent reduction in emissions targeted by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act over the past 10 years.

Ontario’s $24.3-billion chemistry industry is the third-largest manufacturing industry in the province, directly nearly 46,000 Ontarians in well-paying jobs and supporting another 230,000 Ontario jobs in other sectors.  Our members are key employers in the Sarnia-Lambton, GTA/Niagara and Eastern Ontario regions of the province.  We provide important inputs to a range of key manufacturing sectors including automotive, forest products, construction, and food and beverage.  Ontario chemistry sector  accounts for 44 per cent of the nation’s chemistry output. Additionally, Ontario’s plastics manufacturing sector is a $18 billion industry, directly employing over 49,000 Ontarians within 800 different businesses.  These sectors  provides important inputs to a range of manufacturing sectors including automotive, forestry, construction, and food and beverage.

CIAC is pleased to continue to work with the government on the many priorities to modernize business regulations to be outcome-focused and evidence-based while continuing to protect the public interest.

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