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Calgary companies hope for plastics ban reversal

After the federal court rejected the underlying basis of Canada’s single-use plastics ban, some Calgary companies are calling for the ban’s reversal. Tate Laycraft reports.

After Canada’s Federal Court overturned the country’s ban on single-use plastics, a Calgary plastic manufacturer is speaking out.

The Liberal government first made the designation in 2021, allowing the fed to regulate plastics across the nation. Since then, plastic producers have been forced into a state of limbo.

Thursday, the court ruled against a federal decision that classified all plastic-manufactured items as toxic because the category is too broad.

The government is only able to regulate substances for environmental protection if they are listed as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Eric Tang of Triple Three Limited LTD (TTL) hopes the decision inspires a more balanced liberal approach.

“I think the court made the right decision because saying plastic is toxic is too general,” he told CityNews.

“You cannot just say stopping plastic and replacing everything by paper or something else. We cannot rely on one resource only.”

Tang said in late 2022 the ban forced TTL to cut roughly 10 per cent of their business operations.

Watch: Single-use plastics ban frustrates Calgary company

“We are kind of sitting back for the last two years and looking at what the government direction is because we don’t want to invest in anything new right away because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow,” he said.

TTL’s frustrations are also shared by Calgary Co-op, which is calling on the government to reverse its plans to ban the grocer’s compostable bags.

In a statement, Co-op says they agree with the federal court’s decision, asking Ottawa to work with stakeholders to develop new regulations that are reasonable and fair.

While the feds are strongly considering an appeal of the decision, the City of Calgary is preparing to implement its own single-use bylaw.

Beginning in January 2024, Calgarians will have to pay a minimum of 15 cents for paper bags or $1 for reusable bags at checkout counters, if they haven’t brought their own.

Co-op’s bags cost 15 cents each, and anytime members bring their own reusable bags the company donates three cents to the Calgary Co-op Foundation.


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In a statement to CityNews, the city’s Waste and Recycling Services says the bylaw aims to reduce single-use items by either avoiding them, asking for items as needed or choosing reusable items.

“We are closely monitoring the federal government’s response to this court decision, alongside other pending legal cases associated with the plastics ban,” the statement reads.

For Tang, the decision means maintaining the status quo.

“I can’t say what direction we are going right now. But we will keep our eye on that,” he said.

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