Canadian Produce Marketing Association's Ron Lemaire and Western Growers' Dave Puglia Discuss Potential Plastics Ban Impacts



Canadian Produce Marketing Association's Ron Lemaire and Western Growers' Dave Puglia Discuss Potential Plastics Ban Impacts


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CANADA - Potential shifts are on the horizon in the Canadian fresh produce sector. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is advocating for a near-elimination approach for plastic packaging that would require 75 percent of all produce sold in grocery stores to be sold in bulk or non-plastic packaging by 2026.

As the government pushes to implement this plastics ban, Canadian Produce Marketing Association President Ron Lemaire and Western Growers President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Puglia issued a statement, outlining how the legislation could cause dramatic food security and food affordability issues for Canadians.

Ron Lemaire and Dave Puglia recently issued a statement outlining how the legislation could cause dramatic food security and food affordability issues for Canadians

“Canadian consumers are already besieged by high food prices. Now, the government is pushing to implement a plastics ban without considering the consequences, including increased prices and reduced access to affordable, healthy food,” the two stated in a recent release. “Fresh fruits and vegetables represent only 2.9 percent of all plastic packaging in Canada, yet the near-total elimination of these essential packaging tools could cause dramatic food security and food affordability issues for Canadians.”

With the original target set for 75 percent by 2026, this number will increase to 95 percent by 2028, according to the release.

“While the industry, consumers, and government recognize that we all need to reduce plastic waste—the challenge is in the practical delivery. Banning the produce industry from using plastic materials at this time would create catastrophic financial and health consequences for Canadians,” the statement continued. “Canadians benefit from a year-round supply of fresh fruit and vegetables despite a short domestic growing season. Imports represent the vast majority of produce sold to meet Canadian consumer demand and the majority of the products come from the United States. Western Growers’ farmers provide two-thirds of the American fruits and vegetables available year-round to Canadians, and they know first-hand how difficult it is to get fresh nutritious foods from the fields of California to the dinner plates of urban and rural Canadians safely and in good condition. At this time, without plastics, it would be impossible.”

With the original target set for 75 percent by 2026, the required percentage of produce offered in bulk or non-plastic packaging would increase to 95 percent by 2028

The two industry leaders went on to note that “there are no commercially available non-plastic packaging solutions for many types of produce,” and “innovations in plastic alternatives using fiber are years away from real-world usage.”

To read the full statement, click here.

ANUK will bring you more updates on this impending legislation as they arise.

Canadian Produce Marketing Association Western Growers



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Western Growers Association

Since 1926, we have represented local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona and California. Our…


CPMA

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) is a not-for-profit organization that…