Tin stabilizers in the vinyl industry: environmental performance agreement overview

This environmental performance agreement (the 2015 agreement) is in effect for 5 years from March 17, 2015 to March 16, 2020. To date, the 2015 agreement is on track to meet its objective. It is the second agreement with the vinyl industry. The first agreement was in effect from 2008 to 2013.

Objective

The objective of the agreement is to prevent the release of tin stabilizers into the environment, through the full implementation of the Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada (the guideline) by all Canadian vinyl compounding facilities using tin stabilizers. The guideline helps achieve this objective by providing direction on responsible handling, storage, use and disposal of tin stabilizers.

Signatories

The agreement was originally signed on March 17, 2015, by representatives from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the Vinyl Council of Canada (VCC), an operating council of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), and participating companies with vinyl compounding facilities. In January 2017, ECCC received notice from CPIA that the VCC had elected to transfer its responsibilities under the agreement to the Vinyl Institute of Canada (VIC). The VIC agreed to take on the VCC’s roles and responsibilities identified in the 2015 agreement. On March 2, 2017, the agreement was amended and signed by all the parties.

As of March 2019, there were 31 facilities using tin stabilizers who were signatories to the 2015 agreement. As of March 2019, there were two new signatories (2016, 2018) and two facilities stopped using tin stabilizers (2017, 2018).

Key requirements

The participating companies agreed to:

  • undergo site visit verifications to determine whether the guideline continues to be fully implemented as specified in the agreement, at three randomly selected participating facilities that were previously verified under the former agreement but that do not meet the definition of new facilities
    • new facilities will be verified within 24 months after the facilities start to use tin stabilizers
  • prepare corrective action plans for any deficiencies that are identified when the final site visit report is issued

Participating facilities that have undergone significant changes, as defined in the 2015 agreement, will submit all required documentation to the VIC and ECCC within three months following the signing of the agreement or following the submission of their annual compliance report identifying those changes. The verifiers will conduct a verification by examining the submitted documentation and by performing a site visit, if required.

Deadlines

Type of reports Deadline

Facility annual reports: Appendix G

All participating facilities will submit their annual reports directly to the VIC

June 30

Consolidated annual report

The VIC will submit the report to ECCC

September 30

Summary of verification results

The results will be posted by ECCC under "Performance results" below

Annually

Performance results

Consolidated annual reports were submitted to ECCC from 2015 to 2018, as required. The consolidated annual reports focus on the proper handling of tin stabilizer, tin stabilizer containing wastes, the handling of empty packaging, record keeping and any significant changes which have occurred at the facilities since the facility was last verified (whether under the former or the current agreement). All reports received have indicated that all participating facilities have fully implemented the practices as outlined in the guideline.

Verification results

A team consisting of a representative from the VIC and an ECCC official undertook the verifications following which site visit reports were prepared by the VIC with the concurrence of ECCC.

The following summarizes the verifications that were made during the first 4 years of the agreement. The fourth verification period was conducted from March 17, 2018 to March 16, 2019. During this period, four site verifications, including the verification of a new facility, and one documentation verification were conducted.

First year

May 1, 2015 (Vi-Lux Building Products Inc. located in Napanee, Ontario): A significant change had occurred at this facility since the previous verification on October 19, 2011, under the former environmental performance agreement. The facility provided all required documentation to the verifiers and they determined that a site visit was not required in this case. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the full implementation of the guideline as it pertains to the significant change. The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

September 30, 2015 (Gentek located in Burlington, Ontario): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the continuing implementation of the guideline.

November 24, 2015 (Duchesne et Fils Ltee located in Yamachiche, Quebec): The verifiers found three areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the three areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

November 25, 2015 (Soniplastics Inc. located in Boucherville, Quebec): The verifiers found two areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the two areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

Second year

August 23, 2016 (IPEX Inc. located in Clarkson, Ontario): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the continuing implementation of the guideline.

September 15, 2016 (Abbotsford Pipe, a Division of Royal Group Inc. located in Abbotsford, British Columbia): A significant change had occurred at this facility since the previous verification on July 8, 2009 under the former environmental performance agreement. The facility provided all required documentation to the verifiers and they determined that a site visit was not required in this case. The verifiers found three areas for improvement related to this significant change as per the implementation of the guideline. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the three areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

September 28, 2016 (Westech Building Products Limited located in Calgary, Alberta): The verifiers found three areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the three areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

November 24, 2016 (Window City Industries Inc. located in Vaughan, Ontario): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the continuing implementation of the guideline.

Third year

July 28, 2017 (IPEX Inc. located in Edmonton, Alberta): A significant change had occurred at this facility since the previous verification on September 7, 2010, under the former environmental performance agreement. The facility provided all required documentation to the verifiers and they determined that a site visit was not required in this case. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the full implementation of the guideline as it pertains to the significant change. The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

September 12, 2017 (REHAU Industries Inc. Located in Baie-D’Urfé, Quebec): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the continuing implementation of the guideline.

September 13, 2017 (Next Polymers located in Prescott, Ontario): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the continuing implementation of the guideline.

October 25, 2017 (IPEX Inc. located in Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the continuing implementation of the guideline.

Fourth year

March 28, 2018 (Blendtech Polymers Inc. located in Farnham, Quebec): The verifiers found nine areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the nine areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

September 12, 2018 (IPEX Inc. located in Langley, British Columbia): A significant change had occurred at this facility since the previous verification on July 9, 2009, under the former environmental performance agreement. The facility provided all required documentation to the verifiers and they determined that a site visit was not required in this case. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the full implementation of the guideline as it pertains to the significant change. The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

September 26, 2018 (IPEX Inc. located in Edmonton, Alberta): The verifiers found three areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the three areas for improvement were addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

October 23, 2018 (Galata Chemicals Inc. located in Bradford, Ontario): The verifiers found no areas for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline; therefore, no corrective action plan was required. Following the verification period, the facility demonstrated the continuing implementation of the guideline.

October 24, 2018 (Royal Group Inc., Roytec Vinyl facility in Woodbridge, Ontario): The verifiers found one area for improvement as per the implementation of the guideline. Following the verification period, confirmation was provided that the one area for improvement was addressed before the final report was submitted; therefore, no corrective action plan was required.

Next steps

  • Continue the implementation of the 2015 agreement
  • Perform site verifications as defined in the agreement to determine whether the practices and procedures identified in the guideline are being followed
  • Conduct an environmental monitoring program to further evaluate the effectiveness of the agreement
    • This will determine whether any further action will be needed to prevent the release of tin stabilizers in the environment
  • Prior to this agreement expiration date, ECCC and VIC will work to renew the agreement to continue to prevent the release of tin stabilizers into the environment by all participating companies in Canada

Background information

As of 2004, the VCC, the Tin Stabilizers Association and industrial users of tin stabilizers introduced the voluntary Guideline for the Environmental Management of Tin Stabilizers in Canada to prevent the release of tin stabilizers into the environment by ensuring that these substances and their packaging materials are handled, stored, used and disposed of in a responsible manner.

In August 2009, ECCC concluded that tin stabilizers do not meet the criteria of toxicity set out in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, due mainly to voluntary industry-wide stewardship practices in place to limit their environmental release. This had been achieved by the implementation of preventative measures identified in the guideline.

To verify that these stewardship measures were in place, a 5-year agreement, from 2008 to 2013, was put in place between ECCC and the vinyl industry. The purpose of this former agreement was to prevent the release of tin stabilizers into the environment through the full implementation of the guideline by all vinyl compounding facilities using tin stabilizers in Canada.

A performance summary report was published in July 2014 summarizing the results achieved under the former agreement. Five annual progress reports describe the results of these site verifications that were conducted. The former agreement confirmed that all 33 facilities using tin stabilizers have now fully implemented the guideline. See the links below for more information.

The former agreement achieved its intended objectives and was a successful instrument in preventing the release of tin stabilizers into the environment.

When the agreement expired, ECCC, CPIA, VCC, and companies with facilities using tin stabilizers determined that a second agreement would be the best way to ensure the guideline will continue to be followed. The agreement was signed by representatives from ECCC and the VCC on March 17, 2015.

In January 2017, ECCC received notice from CPIA that the VCC had elected to transfer its responsibilities under the agreement to the VIC. To ensure the continuous implementation of the agreement, the VIC took on all the roles and responsibilities previously assumed by the VCC as identified in the agreement.

Response to comments

The proposed 2015 agreement was posted for public consultation on the Government of Canada’s website for 60 days, which ended on October 19, 2014. No public comments were received.

Past agreement and reports

Related information

Contact us

Plastics and Chemicals Unit
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3

Email: ec.pgpc-dppc-cmp-cpd.ec@canada.ca

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