[GRRN] Canadian plastics initiative

Helen Spiegelman (helens@axionet.com)
Fri, 05 Feb 1999 10:27:11 -0800

Hello, American friends:

In 1989 Canada signed on to the National Packaging Protocol (NaPP), a
voluntary EPR initiative in which industries promised to reduce their
packaging 50% by the year 2000.

One year ago, the industry signatories to NaPP flooded the media with
claims that they had achieved the NaPP targets 4 years early: 52%
reduction had been achieved by 1996.

What they didn't mention was that the reduction was almost all in the area
of TRANSPORT packaging (OCC, pallets, etc.) while consumer packaging --
especially plastic -- continues to climb.

Public interest groups were skeptical and frustrated. Now, SPEC
(grandmother of Greenpeace!) is putting forward a nation-wide Canadian
initiative to carry the NaPP agreement to the next stage.

NaPP said if industry doesn't achieve the targets through voluntary
efforts, the 10 provinces will enact regulations to spur better results.
Most of Canada's provinces now have legislation in place that allows the
government to implement regulations without a vote in parliament, as a
simple "Order in Council".

Here, for you information, is a message that SPEC is sending out to
municipalities and environmental groups across Canada:

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation,
Vancouver, British Columbia

Plastic packaging is here to stay -- in fact, it's growing 10% per year
(source: American Plastics Institute).

Plastic recycling is NOT keeping pace -- in fact, it's slowing down (over
half a billion pounds more plastic in North American landfills in 1997 than
in 1996 -- source: ibid)

The main reason for the GROWTH in plastics use and the BACKSLIDING in
recycling is competition from mass-produced "virgin" plastic. Recycled
plastic can't compete against under-priced virgin material.

SPEC has created a MODEL REGULATION to require the use of 10% recycled
content in specified plastic containers. Enacted across Canada, this
regulation would create a stable market for recycled plastic, protect our
local recycling industries, and keep millions of pounds of perfectly good
plastic out of local landfills.
If you are interested in supporting this initiative, REPLY to this message,
and we send you the MODEL PLASTICS REGULATION, which you can forward to
your Minister of Environment, urging action on plastic packaging waste


Helen Spiegelman
3570 West 22nd Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia

604/731-8463 (fax)

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