Canada Plastics Pact releases 2021 Annual Report, exploring pathways to achieving a circular economy for plastics packaging

OTTAWA, March 31, 2023 — The Canada Plastics Pact (CPP) today published its 2021 Annual Report presenting an aggregated overview of the reporting data from CPP Partners during its launch year.  

The report sheds light on the plastics packaging ecosystem during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing areas of strength and identifying key gaps where CPP Partners need to work collectively and boldly to address the issue of plastics pollution in the current linear status quo

In 2019, it was estimated that Canada generated 1.89 million tonnes of plastic packaging, of which only 12% was recycled.  In response to the issues around plastic packaging in Canada, 41 stakeholders from across the plastics packaging value chain came together to launch the CPP in January 2021. By the end of CPP’s first year of annual reporting, the organization had doubled in size, with 82 Partners actively involved in the efforts to eliminate plastic packaging waste and advance a circular economy. 

As part of the organization’s commitment to transparency, Partners that join the CPP have agreed to share data to measure progress toward the four targets outlined in the CPP’s Roadmap to 2025. Key metrics reported in the 2021 Annual Report include:

  • Target 1: 48% of CPP Signatories do not place any plastics currently defined as problematic on the market, while the remaining 52% have plans to reduce or eliminate at least one problematic item. 
  • Target 2: 44% of plastic packaging placed on the market by CPP Partners is designated as reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
  • Target 3: 12% of plastic packaging is estimated to have been recycled in Canada in 2019; and only 1% of flexible packaging. 
  • Target 4: 11% was the average amount of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content (by weight) across plastic packaging produced by CPP Partners. 

The CPP’s 2021 Annual Report indicates that although we are still at the start of our collective journey to advancing a circular economy for plastics packaging, we made initial progress out of the gate, including developing and launching our Roadmap to 2025,” says Paul Shorthouse, Interim Managing Director at the Canada Plastics Pact. “We are particularly encouraged by the strong engagement and collaboration from our members and stakeholders and will continue to align on the pathways needed for accelerating progress towards our targets.”

While there’s a long road ahead towards achieving full circularity, since the CPP’s launch, more than 90 Partners are now actively involved with the multi-stakeholder cross value chain collaboration platform.

The release of this report marks another important milestone for the CPP. The data has shown us where we need to focus our efforts and has highlighted the urgency to move faster towards our targets. We remain committed to working collaboratively with Partners to accelerate progress,” says Catherine O’Brien, Chair and President at the Canada Plastics Pact and Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Nestlé Canada.

CPP Partners will continue to report progress annually, using the World Wildlife Fund’s ReSource Footprint Tracker, which is a reporting tool used by other Plastics Pacts including in the United States, providing greater transparency, accountability, harmonization, and comparability across regions and supply chains. 


Media inquiries:

To arrange an interview, please contact:

Moojan Haidari, Communications Manager, Canada Plastics Pact 

About the Canada Plastics Pact

The Canada Plastics Pact (CPP) is tackling plastic waste and pollution, as a multi-stakeholder, industry-led, cross-value chain collaboration platform. The CPP brings together Partners who are united behind a vision of creating a circular economy in Canada in which plastic waste is kept in the economy and out of the environment. It unites businesses, government, non-governmental organizations, and other key actors in the local plastics value chain behind clear actionable targets for 2025. The CPP is a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Plastics Pact network. It operates as an independent initiative of The Natural Step Canada, a national charity with over 25 years’ experience advancing science, innovation, and strategic leadership aimed at fostering a strong and inclusive economy that thrives within nature’s limits.