Où vont nos déchets plastiques ?

In this article, the authors draw on available data to report on the Canadian trade in plastic waste over the last 20 years, showing a bleak picture. They also highlight the fact that, in the absence of relevant data, it is often not possible to draw up an accurate picture of the situation, so a number of questions remain unanswered. 

Highlights of the study:

  • In 2022, Canadian exports of plastic waste amounted to 175 thousand tonnes.
  • Following China' s ban on plastic waste imports at the end of 2017—the National Sword—a large proportion of Canada's exports to China were absorbed by the US: the share of exports to the US rose from 50% in 2016 to 93% in 2021.
  • The impact of China's ban has been very different from one province to another: between 2016 and 2021, plastic waste exports fell by 70% in British Columbia, 10% in Ontario and 4% in Quebec. Waste management policies probably have something to do with this.
  • Today, Canada imports more plastic waste than it exports. 95% of imports come from the United States.





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