Billboard truck set up to counter UN Global Plastics Treaty

Catherine Swift vehemently opposes the idea of banning plastics outright, dismissing it as 'a ridiculous proposition' that overlooks practical solutions for improving plastic recycling.

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As global delegates converge for the United Nations Plastics Summit, one Canadian voice is making waves with a bold message: "Plastic Saves Lives." Catherine Swift, an economist and president of the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada (CCMBC) has rolled out a billboard truck to challenge the narrative surrounding plastic use.

On the second day of the summit, Swift's billboard truck, emblazoned with the slogan "Plastic Saves Lives," made its presence felt, aiming to shed light on the crucial role of plastics in modern society. Swift vehemently opposes the idea of banning plastics outright, dismissing it as "a ridiculous proposition" that overlooks practical solutions for improving plastic recycling.

In her view, plastics are indispensable in various sectors, especially healthcare and automotive industries, where they enhance efficiency and sustainability. "Plastics are irreplaceable in many applications," she emphasized, stressing their recyclability and significant contribution to everyday life.

Swift criticized government legislative efforts that vilify plastics, citing past legal cases where such measures were rightfully rejected. Instead, she advocates for comprehensive recycling procedures to manage plastic waste effectively. "The real practical way to go here is not to treat plastics as toxic but to establish proper recycling procedures," she asserted.

Concerns about the environmental impact of plastics were also addressed by Swift, who highlighted their vital role in healthcare and consumer products, particularly during the pandemic. She warned against the unintended consequences of banning plastics, such as increased costs and inferior alternatives that pose greater risks to the environment.

Amidst discussions about plastic pollution, the Canadian government's proposal for a federal plastics registry has sparked both support and criticism. Swift expressed reservations about the registry, citing potential burdens on businesses.

She questioned the feasibility and effectiveness of Guilbeault’s plastics registry, noting its requirement for businesses to track the entire lifecycle of plastic products. Swift raised concerns about the bureaucratic hurdles and administrative burdens such a registry could impose, cautioning against stifling productivity and innovation.

While acknowledging the need to address plastic pollution, Swift urged policymakers to explore alternative solutions that strike a balance between environmental concerns and business interests. "We could achieve the same goals without burdening businesses," she asserted, calling for a pragmatic approach to plastic management.

In the midst of heated debates at the UN summit, Swift's advocacy serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding plastic use and the importance of considering practical solutions in the pursuit of environmental sustainability.

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