In one of Canada’s most consequential environmental court cases, a federal judge in Toronto has heard arguments from representatives of the plastics industry contesting a national ban on some single-use plastic products.
The ban affects plastic bags, straws, stirrers, and cutlery. Some prohibitions have already taken effect while others won’t go into force until 2025. The legislation was pushed through by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party on the basis of a scientific assessment of plastic pollution published in 2020.
The companies in question — Dow Chemical Canada, Imperial Oil, and Nova Chemicals — along with the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and the Responsible Plastics Use Coalition argue that the federal government has failed to provide scientific evidence to justify the regulations. They say that the test for toxicity is not satisfied by proving that a single bottle cap poses a risk to a single animal.
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