Plastics and plastic products are more than just convenient; they are essential to the way we live our modern lives. CIAC Plastics Division members are involved in every step of the plastic production process, from the production of resins and pellets to producing final products including personal protective equipment (PPE), packaging to protect food and reduce spoilage, automotive parts, computer and electronic casing, and components for solar panels and wind turbines.

With the manufacture of these products comes the responsibility to make plastics in a sustainable way that limits or eliminates plastic waste and pollution while working toward a circular economy for plastics to support a low-carbon economy.

CIAC Plastics Division members are committed to:
100% of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030  
100% of plastics packaging being reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040

Promoting Canada’s low-carbon plastics industry

With the demand for plastic continuing to grow, Canada has an opportunity to use competitive advantages, including having access to abundant low-carbon natural gas feedstock, and a skilled labour force, to attract investment, grow the country’s plastic sector, and help the country’s economy thrive in the years to come. Plastics are sustainable, durable and lightweight; these attributes make plastics a key piece to helping other industries lower emissions, including automotive, construction, food and beverage, among others.

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Creating a circular economy for plastics

A circular economy will see plastics used, recycled, and repurposed again and again so plastics stay in the economy rather than entering the environment. The industry recognizes its responsibility to eliminate plastic waste and move to a circular economy for plastics. To continue in the right direction, changes need to happen, including product design, improved sortation and mechanical recycling infrastructure across the country, and adoption of extended producer responsibility programs whereby industry designs, manages and pays for province-wide recycling systems. This will allow plastics to be collected at a scale that makes it possible for industry to recycle plastics so they can be turned into new products.

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Promoting advanced recycling

Many Canadian companies are leading the way on research into advanced recycling. These new technologies transform plastic products back into their basic molecules, allowing the production of new resins, pellets, and plastic products that will continuously recirculate in the economy. Investing in plastics recycling infrastructure and technology will increase the availability and use of recycled plastics in products. Given recycled plastic resins have a lower environmental footprint than virgin resins, it will also increase the availability of made-in-Canada low-carbon products, providing an important trade advantage.

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