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Canada Opens Consultation on Federal Plastics Registry


On December 30, 2023, the Canadian Government published a notice in the Canada Gazette announcing its intent to establish federal plastics registration and reporting requirements under section 46(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). The reporting requirements would apply to calendar years 2024, 2025, and 2026.

The Section 46 notice would require “producers” of “plastic products” to report to the registry, either themselves or through another designated entity (e.g., a producer responsibility organization (PRO)), the quantity and types of plastic they place on the Canadian market. The producers of certain plastic products would also be required to provide a detailed breakdown of how that plastic is managed at the end of its useful life.

Two groups of persons would be subject to reporting to the Canadian registry: (1) producers of plastic products; and (2) persons that manage plastics or plastics products after collection for diversion (e.g., through recycling, composting, energy recovery). A producer is defined as the brand owner or intellectual property holder who resides in Canada. If the brand owner is not a resident of Canada, then the first resident person to manufacture or import a plastic product into Canada is defined as the producer, unless there is no resident manufacturer or importer, in which case the distributor or first resident person to distribute the plastic product to the consumer in Canada is defined as the producer.

The notice establishes a three-part schedule that delineates the types of plastic products that must be reported to the registry. Plastic products as defined in the schedule that are manufactured in Canada or imported into Canada are subject to reporting.

The first two parts of the schedule address the composition of the plastic product. Part 3 of the schedule identifies several plastic product categories and subcategories that would trigger reporting to the federal registry. Among these categories are packaging, including primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging, and including single-use and reusable packaging (e.g., rigid and flexible beverage containers, food-contact materials, and other articles).

Importantly, the Canadian plastics registry will not be limited to consumer products alone but would require producers to report on all commercial and industrial sources of plastic waste for the identified product categories.

Canada is seeking feedback on this notice from interested parties until February 13, 2024. More details on Canada’s notice on a federal plastic registry can be found here.