The Government of Canada recently announced the new Federal Plastics Registry, a tool to compel plastic producers and other companies across the plastics value chain to help monitor and track plastic from the time it is produced up to its end of life. By better tracking plastic through its full life cycle, both governments and industry will be better equipped to address plastic waste and pollution through increased transparency and sound, robust, evidence-based decision-making. This announcement helps set the tone for the kinds of measures Canada hopes to encourage the world to move toward this week in Ottawa during the fourth session of negotiations toward a new global agreement on plastic pollution.

Less than ten percent of plastics in Canada are recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills and often on beaches, in rivers, parks and our oceans, harming wildlife and damaging habitats. The Government sees the Federal Plastics Registry as a means for improving how plastics are made, used and managed, cutting plastic waste, building green economic opportunities, and sending a clear signal to provincial and municipal governments and businesses so they can spur innovation, drive policy, and signal areas of investment.

The Registry requires plastic resin manufacturers, producers of plastic products, and service providers to report each year on the quantity and types of plastic they put on the Canadian market and how that plastic moves through the economy. This tool will provide Canadians, including innovators and decision-makers, with reliable data that will identify opportunities for further action to reduce plastic waste and pollution, as well as help monitor progress over time. Reporting will be phased in over time and by sector. The categories covered by the Registry include packaging, single-use and disposable products, construction, transportation, electronics and electrical equipment, tires, textiles and apparel, fishing and aquaculture equipment, and agriculture and horticulture equipment.

Reporting Timeline for the Registry

Reporting requirements for the Federal Plastics Registry will be introduced in phases to allow time for those obligated to report to meet the requirements. Reporting to the Federal Plastics Registry would start in September of 2025 with Phase 1, requiring reporting on plastic placed on the market in three categories for the 2024 calendar year. In 2026, Phase 2 adds reporting requirements for resin manufacturers and importers, for the three categories that reported during Phase 1, as well as reporting on plastic placed on the market for remaining categories.

Phase 2 will also see the introduction of reporting on plastic waste generated at ICI facilities and the introduction of reporting for plastic collected and sent for diversion and disposal for some categories.

In 2027, Phase 3 adds additional reporting on plastics collected and sent for diversion and disposal for more categories. Reporting requirements for Phase 4 will be covered in a future information gathering notice. A simplified version of the phases of reporting are outlined in the table below.

Zero Plastic Waste Goal

Through the Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to develop and maintain Canada-wide data on how plastic moves through the economy. The Federal Plastics Registry supports this commitment and publicly provides critical data to inform and support Canada’s shared plan to address plastic waste and pollution.

The Government of Canada continues to collaborate with partners to advance its comprehensive zero plastic waste agenda. This includes working with provinces and territories through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to implement the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste and Action Plan. The Registry supports the Action Plan commitment to develop and maintain national plastics economy data.

Source: Government of Canada