Chemistry Industry: Committed to a Zero Plastic Waste Future

Modern-day necessities like food packaging, medical equipment, lighter vehicles and sustainable energy are made possible through the contributions of plastics, but these products do not belong in our waterways or the environment.

Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) members and those in the plastics value-chain are ready to step up to support a circular economy for these products that enable our modern way of life, says a new report by the CIAC, The Role of Chemistry in a Circular Economy for Plastics.

Today in Canada, as a result of inadequate sorting, contamination, limited end markets and not employing all the technologies available, nearly 80 per cent of all post-consumer plastics end up in landfills – three million tonnes annually. 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.

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. The chemistry 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,” said CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson. “Our industry is stepping up to provide workable solutions.”

Read the full report: The Role of Chemistry in a Circular Economy for Plastics