The Government of Canada has announced the launch of a new Federal Plastics Registry, requiring plastic manufacturers to report the quantity and type of plastic they place on the Canadian market and track its life cycle from production to end-of-life in the economy.

According to the government’s announcement, the new registration system supports Canada’s goal of zero plastic waste and encompasses a commitment to country-wide data collection regarding the plastic life cycle. The system aims to help track and follow plastic from production to end-of-life. Canada produces 4.4 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, with only 9% being recycled.

The Government of Canada has implemented a comprehensive plan to reduce plastic pollution, improve the production, use, and management of plastics throughout their life cycle, and move towards a circular economy. On April 22, 2024, the Government of Canada published a data collection notice under section 46 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (“CEPA”) to gather information for the Federal Plastics Registry.

The Federal Plastics Registry will provide reliable data to consumers and the government to track progress over time and define a plan and roadmap for reducing plastic waste and pollution.

In Canada, waste management responsibility is shared between federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments. As part of their responsibilities, provinces and territories are developing extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs. While EPR plays a significant role in creating a circular plastic economy, reporting requirements vary across the country due to a lack of standardized definitions, calculations, and performance indicators.

Thus, the Canada-wide Action Plan for “Zero Plastic Waste” has committed to developing and maintaining data. The Federal Plastics Registry will help meet this need by providing accessible, consistent, and robust data. This information aims to go beyond the currently covered categories and scope through domestic extended producer responsibility programs.

The Canadian Government prioritizes preventing and reducing plastic waste and improving the environmentally sound production, use, management, and disposal of plastics through targeted actions. The government is also investing in sector-based solutions, promoting innovations in reuse and domestic products, and setting a good example by greening its operations and supply chain practices. This integrated approach will strengthen reuse and other value recovery processes and help inform consumers.

Implementation Phases

The new registration system will begin reporting in phases. In September 2025, the amount of plastic produced, imported, and released onto the market in packaging, electronic and electrical equipment, and single-use or one-time-use plastic products will be reported. Reporting requirements for resin producers and importers, other plastic categories, and plastics produced in industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities will begin in 2026. Reporting for end-of-life plastics and plastics sent for disposal will start in 2026 for some categories and in 2027 for others.

The announcement stated that small producers who produce less than one tonne of plastic waste in the market would be exempt from reporting requirements.