Government of Canada Announces Single-Use Plastic Regulations & Timelines

Government of Canada Announces Single-Use Plastic Regulations & Timelines

The Government of Canada has released the Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations (SUPPR), which can be accessed on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act Registry

The regulations reflect input received through extensive consultations conducted by the Government of Canada since 2019, including from the tens of thousands of Canadians who expressed their support for banning certain single-use plastics. Read Circular Innovation Council’s response here.

It is estimated that the regulations would prevent more than 23,000 tonnes of plastic pollution from entering the environment over a ten-year period—the equivalent of one million garbage bags of litter.

The Regulations prohibit the manufacture, import, and sale of six categories of single-use plastics products that are commonly found in disposal and litter streams; difficult to collect and recycle; and have inherently low market value for recyclers:

  1. Checkout bags designed to carry purchased goods from a business and typically given to a customer at the retail point of sale.
  2. Cutlery includes:
  •     knives
  •     forks
  •     spoons
  •     sporks
  •     chopsticks
  1. Foodservice ware designed for serving or transporting food or beverage that is ready to be consumed, and that:
  •     contains
  •     expanded polystyrene foam
  •     extruded polystyrene foam
  •     polyvinyl chloride
  •     carbon black
  •     an oxodegradable plastic
  •     are limited to the following items
  •     clamshell containers
  •     lidded containers
  •     boxes
  •     cups
  •     plates
  •     bowls
  1. Ring carriers are flexible and designed to surround beverage containers in order to carry them together.
  2. Stir sticks designed to stir or mix beverages, or to prevent a beverage from spilling from the lid of its container.
  3. Straws include:
  •     straight drinking straws, and
  •     flexible straws, which have a corrugated section that allows the straw to bend, packaged with beverage containers (juice boxes and pouches)

The Regulations do not apply to plastic manufactured items that are waste or that are transiting through Canada. Any person who manufactures, imports or sells (including to provide free of charge) any of the six categories of single-use plastics listed above is subject to the Regulations.

These guidance documents outline important considerations to take into account when selecting alternative products or systems that prevent plastic pollution and help Canada transition to a circular economy. Contents include: 
  • Choosing alternatives that prevent pollution and reduce waste and
  • Help align businesses’ decisions with industry best practices

Key Dates

  •  December 2022: Ban on the manufacture and import of these single use plastics
  •  December 2023: Ban on the sale of these items
  • 2025: Export ban on the identified items


  • Six-pack rings used to hold cans and bottles together – June 2023 targeted for stopping production and import, and June 2024 to ban their sale.
  •  Straws to accommodate people with disabilities: Juice boxes can also be sold with disposable plastic straws attached until June 2024.

These bans are shown effective when market alternatives are available, they also support reuse and improve recycling or composting outcomes. Banning items that have limited end-of-life management options also aligns with the approach of other progressive jurisdictions.

The six items included for in this ban are justified and the list should be continually expanded to include additional items according to established criteria and where the evidence supports action.

While there is no single solution to addressing plastic waste and pollution, a combination of initiatives that strike a balance of economic, environment, and social considerations will position Canada in a place of domestic and international leadership: 

  • Expand banning specific items that are proven to be impossible to recycle, and lost to disposal and litter, will create better alternatives.
  • Making producers that manufacture, manage, and market products and packaging that do not have systematic recycling options at end-of-life has the greatest potential to shift markets for greater efficiency. 
  • Introducing standards and targets for recycling will allow for progress to be measured, which has historically been lacking.
  • Conducting research and working collaboratively across value and supply chains will uncover new and better ways on how we produce, use, and manage products and services.





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