Trade Regulation Updates

Single Use Plastics

December 8, 2022

On June 22, 2022 Canada published the Single Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations, to reduce the use of harmful plastics in Canada and prevent plastic pollution which threatens the environment.

Effective December 20th, 2022 Canada’s ban on the importation, manufacture and sale of 6 types of single use plastic items as defined in these regulations takes effect. 

In this article we are going to explore the details about the ban on the importation of these products. 

What Single Use Plastic Products Are Affected?

  • Checkout bags 
  • Cutlery 
  • Ring carriers
  • Stir sticks
  • Foodservice ware
  • Straws*

*There are some exemptions for flexible straws and straw packages with beverage containers.

The term “plastic” isn’t definitively stated in the regulations; this is to provide flexibility and to allow for regulations to include the development of plastics that don’t yet exist. Plastic in itself is a broad category of synthetic plastics. Currently, regulated plastics include many commonly known plastics and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has provided guidance that suggests a review of the Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution report to help define what is a plastic. Regulated plastics include (but are not limited to) single use items that are made of the following plastic resins:  

  • Polyethylene (PE), including high-density (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polystyrene (PS), including expanded and extruded polystyrene
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

As well, banned single use plastics can include non-conventional plastics such as Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Polyhydroxyalknoates (PHA’s).

What Is Considered Single Use? 

Single use is defined with slightly different parameters for each of the above commodities, but in common for all of these items is that they are intended to be discarded after only being used once.

For specific information about the 6 banned products, please see ECCCs publication: Technical Guidelines for the Single use Plastics Prohibition Regulations

The prohibition on importing these products is being phased in depending on commodity type:


Manufacture and Import For Sale in Canada


Manufacture, Import and Sale For Export

Checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, stir sticks, straws*

December 20, 2022

December 20, 2023

December 20, 2025

Ring carriers

June 20, 2023

June 20, 2024

December 20, 2025

Flexible straws packaged with beverage containers

Not applicable

June 20, 2024

December 20, 2025

*Single use plastic flexible straws that are not packaged with beverage containers are excluded from the prohibitions under certain conditions.

Although these regulations are a ban on the importation of specific single use plastic items, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will not be implementing a tariff ban, meaning shipments will not be refused entry at the border. Instead, ECCC will be enforcing the new regulation post-importation in accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. ECCC will conduct verification activities to ensure importers are complying with the new regulations. These verification activities can include requests for information, review of records, product testing, and site visits.

As with all regulations that apply to imported goods it is the Importer’s responsibility to research their products and communicate with their suppliers to ensure they are complying with the regulations and not importing prohibited products. 

If you need guidance in understanding these regulations, our Trade Advisors can be of assistance. Reach out to us for more information about how we can help you. 

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