ARM Responds to Enviornment Canada’s microbeads definition

Adam Webb

ARM staff and members took action last month to address Canada’s listing of microbeads on their CEPA toxic list.

The intent of Environment Canada, the Canadian government’s department for safeguarding the environment, was to address microbeads in rinse-off consumer products (e.g. exfoliating lotion). However, the definition used by Environment Canada was so broad that it arguably included the resins we work with every day. ARM feared that molders were going to be in a difficult spot if customers asked whether their products contained materials on the CEPA toxic list.

ARM, the American Chemistry Council, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and others had expected to be able to provide additional comments for the proposal in 2016 but we learned that wouldn’t be the case and we took immediate action.

ARM President Corey Claussen sent a letter to Environment Canada on behalf of ARM requesting an explanatory note on microbeads. I scheduled and conducted a teleconference with our Canadian rotomolder members and provided those members with a template for a letter to be sent to Environment Canada and their MPs.

As a result of broad efforts to clarify the language, Environment Canada drafted an explanatory note stating clearly that they define microbeads as the materials used in rinse-off consumer products. We expect to receive the final version of the note this month. This success is a great indicator of the influence our members can exert when they come together and when ARM works with our strategic partners.

Adam Webb is the Executive Director of ARM.

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