Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations - Overview
As of December 20, 2022, the manufacture and import for sale in Canada of checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, stir sticks and straws (i.e., straight straws), as defined in the Regulations, will be prohibited. For more information, consult the section on the Guidance documents and fact sheets.
Overview of the Regulations
The Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations (SUPPR) are part of the Government of Canada’s comprehensive plan to address pollution, meet its target of zero plastic waste by 2030, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Regulations prohibit the manufacture, import and sale of single-use plastic checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws. An exception in the Regulations allow single-use plastic flexible straws to remain available, under certain conditions (outlined in the guidance documents below), so people who need them still have access.
This page provides a high level summary of the Regulations and does not include all legal requirements. If there is any inconsistency between the information contained in this document and the Canada Gazette, Part II (CGII) published text or the Justice Canada regulatory text, the CGII and Justice Canada texts take precedence.
Scope of the Regulations
The Regulations prohibit the manufacture, import, and sale of 6 categories of single-use plastics:
- Checkout bags designed to carry purchased goods from a business and typically given to a customer at the retail point of sale.
- Cutlery includes:
- Foodservice ware designed for serving or transporting food or beverage that is ready to be consumed, and that:
- expanded polystyrene foam
- extruded polystyrene foam
- polyvinyl chloride
- carbon black
- an oxo-degradable plastic
- are limited to the following items
- clamshell containers
- lidded containers
- Ring carriers are flexible and designed to surround beverage containers in order to carry them together.
- Stir sticks designed to stir or mix beverages, or to prevent a beverage from spilling from the lid of its container.
- Straws include:
- straight drinking straws, and
- flexible straws, which have a corrugated section that allows the straw to bend, packaged with beverage containers (juice boxes and pouches)
The Regulations do not apply to plastic manufactured items that are waste or that are transiting through Canada. Any person who manufactures, imports or sells (including to provide free of charge) any of the 6 categories of single-use plastics listed above is subject to the Regulations.
To enable industry to adapt to the changes, the Regulations will be implemented on a staggered timeline.
|Item||Manufacture and import for sale in Canada||Sale||Manufacture, import and sale for export|
|Checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, stir sticks, straws*||December 20, 2022||December 20, 2023||December 20, 2025|
|Ring carriers||June 20, 2023||June 20, 2024||December 20, 2025|
|Flexible straws packaged with beverage containers||Not applicable||June 20, 2024||December 20, 2025|
*Single-use plastic flexible straws that are not packaged with beverage containers are excluded from the prohibitions under certain conditions.
Guidance documents and fact sheets
- Technical Guidelines for the Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations
- Guidance for selecting alternatives to the single-use plastics as defined in the Regulations
- Fact sheet: Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations
- Fact sheet: Exceptions for Single-use Plastic Flexible Straws
In October 2020, the Government of Canada released a Science assessment of plastic pollution. The Science assessment found that plastic is polluting our rivers, lakes and oceans, harming wildlife, and generating microplastics in the water we use and drink. It recommends the Government pursue actions to reduce the amounts of macroplastics and microplastics that end up in the environment, in accordance with the precautionary principle.
On October 7, 2020, Environment and Climate Change Canada announced proposed next steps to achieve the goal of zero plastic waste by 2030. One element of the approach was the proposal to ban or restrict the use of certain single-use plastics where there is evidence that they are found in the environment, are often not recycled, and have readily available and viable alternatives. The approach also proposed improvements to recover and recycle plastic, so it stays in our economy and out of the environment. The announcement included the release of a discussion paper, A proposed integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution, for a public consultation period that closed on December 9, 2020. Feedback received was considered in developing regulations to ban or restrict certain single-use plastics.
In December 2021, the Government of Canada published the proposed Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I and Guidance for Selecting Alternatives to the Single-use Plastics in the Proposed Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations. The Regulations proposed to prohibit the manufacture, import and sale of single-use plastic checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws. The Guidance for Selecting Alternatives to the Single-use Plastics in the Proposed Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations is intended to help businesses transition away from the 6 categories of single-use plastics that are listed in the proposed Regulations. The consultation period closed on March 5, 2022.
On June 22, 2022, the Government of Canada published the Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations (SUPPR), in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The Regulations officially prohibit the manufacture, import and sale of the 6 single-use plastic items identified in the proposed Regulations. An exception to the SUPPR will allow single-use plastic flexible straws to remain available for sale in stores, under certain conditions, for people who need them. The Government published two guidance documents to accompany the Regulations.
What we heard
In August 2021, a What we heard report was published and summarizes the feedback received on the discussion paper from written comments, stakeholder discussion sessions and webinars.
- Overview of proposed integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution
- Managing Single-use Plastics (Part 1)
- Managing Single-use Plastics (Part 2)
- Establishing Performance Standards
- Outstanding issues
Notices of objection and requests for a board of review in relation to the proposed Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) were received. Responses to these notices are available on the CEPA Registry. A summary table of public comments received on the proposed Regulations has also been published.
- Canada to ban harmful single-use plastics and hold companies responsible for plastic waste
- Canada one-step closer to zero plastic waste by 2030
- Plastic pollution (Health Canada)
- Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Plastics Regulatory Affairs Division
351 St. Joseph Blvd., Place Vincent Massey, 9-064
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
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