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Cap on plastic production may be too complicated for global treaty: Guilbeault

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the world can solve its plastic problem without insisting on hard caps on plastic production.

Guilbeault says talks on a treaty to end plastic waste are progressing well and he is confident a deal will be reached this fall when the final negotiations are held in South Korea.

But he says a specific, legislated cap on how much plastic the world produces is likely too complicated to design and enforce.

He says if negotiators agree to ban some single-use and hard-to-recycle plastics, and mandate a minimum amount of recycled material in new products, that will organically stave off the need for virgin plastic fibre.

Many environment groups argue that while such policies are helpful, the only way to really end plastic pollution is to force down the amount of plastic available for use.

Industry groups argue that alternatives to plastic are usually more expensive and require more energy to make.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2025.

The Canadian Press

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