MONTREAL — In response to the Government of Canada’s announcement today that Canada is supportive of beginning negotiations toward a new global agreement on plastic pollution, the David Suzuki Foundation’s director general for Quebec and Atlantic Canada and climate portfolio lead Sabaa Khan said:

“Canada’s support for a global agreement on plastic pollution could help get the proposal off the ground, and it’s urgently needed. A legally binding, international agreement on plastic pollution is a necessary complement to proposed domestic regulations. We encourage the government to work toward a treaty that will address the entire plastics life cycle, and mobilize worldwide action to effectively eliminate the human and environmental health risks associated with the exponentially rising crisis of plastic pollution.”

Historically, Canada has been a leader in negotiating multiple global multilateral environmental agreements addressing chemicals and waste, most notably the Stockholm Convention, Montreal Protocol and Minamata Convention.

“As the international community convenes to forge new and necessary responses to the urgent plastic pollution crisis, we hope the legacy of strong Canadian contributions to multilateral environmental agreements will continue,” Khan said.

The Government of Canada announced its support for beginning negotiations toward a global agreement on plastic pollution following today’s G7 environment ministers’ meeting. In a letter to Canada’s environment minister earlier this week, the David Suzuki Foundation and other organizations urged Canada to add its support.

A federal science assessment published last year concluded that plastic pollution is ubiquitous in the environment and poses an ecological hazard, including physical harm, to some animals and their habitat. Government has promised to introduce regulations banning non-essential, single-use plastics by the end of 2021.

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Read the May 17, 2021, letter urging Canada to support a global plastics agreement.

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