Rally Against Big Plastic: Animal Justice in Court to Protect Single-Use Plastic Ban

The industry that profits from plastics is trying to stop Canada’s progressive ban on many single-use plastic products. Big Plastic is asking the Federal Court to strike down the government’s listing of plastic manufactured items as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). Today in Toronto, concerned Canadians rallied outside the court to show their support for protecting the ban.

The government’s science assessment has demonstrated that plastic pollution poses a hazard to wildlife and the environment. As a result of the CEPA listing, the government has since released regulations to ban some of the most harmful and unnecessary single-use plastics, including checkout bags, stir sticks, cutlery and six-pack rings.

The law was passed as a first step in the government’s effort to reach zero plastic waste in Canada by 2030, and will eliminate an estimated 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste over a 10-year period. 

Plastic pollution harms millions of wild animals around the world each year. This week, Animal Justice, Environmental Defence, and Oceana Canada are in court to stand up for wildlife and support Canada’s efforts to tackle the plastic pollution crisis.

While the current single-use plastic ban is a good start, it’s estimated that only three percent of plastic waste is covered. The ban doesn’t include some of the most common plastic items found in the environment, such as take out coffee cups and lids. The ban also doesn’t address plastic waste from the fishing industry. Lost and discarded fishing gear, also known as “ghost gear”, makes up the vast majority of large plastic pollution in the ocean, and can entangle and kill animals for decades.

Show your support by contacting the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to thank him for taking action against plastic pollution, and to encourage the government to expand the ban to include more harmful plastic products that so often end up in the environment.