Guilbeault and UCP spar over feds’ plan for a national plastics registry
Steven Guilbeault wants a plastic registry to keep “plastic companies accountable.”

Mike Campbell

January 10, 2024

Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault has doubled down on his goal of creating a national plastics registry that would require plastics producers to track their items, prompting the feds’ latest battle with Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP).

Guilbeault and UCP spar over feds’ plan for a national plastics registry

Guilbeault responded to criticism from the UCP’s Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz, after she called the idea of a plastics registry “unnecessary” and a “waste of time, tax dollars.”  

Guilbeault wants a plastic registry to keep “plastic companies accountable for their waste”

“The proposed plastic registry supports provinces in keeping plastic companies accountable for their waste,” Guilbeault told her publicly through social media, adding, “Producer responsibility takes the burden off of municipalities and saves taxpayers money. The registry will also help reduce the reporting burden on businesses.” 

The feds have stated that the registry would help them achieve their goal of zero-plastic waste by 2030, and they’d use the information to “measure progress toward zero plastic waste and inform actions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

Guilbeault wants companies to track the plastic quantity entering the market

The responsibility, according to Guilbeault, would lie with the manufacturers of plastic items to disclose the quantity entering the market and their subsequent fate.

But Schulz said earlier this week that Alberta is already sufficiently committed to plastics management, arguing that the issue is under provincial jurisdiction. 

“Ottawa needs to stay in their own lane rather than creating yet another costly and ineffective program that sounds good to Minister Guilbeault but will have little benefit to the environment,” she said

The feds further claimed that in 2019, Canadians disposed of 4.4 million tonnes of plastic waste, with a mere nine percent getting recycled.

Last week, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith called for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fire Guilbeault, calling him a “national embarrassment.” 

Smith also mocked Guilbeault’s plan to adopt a national plastics registry.

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