Resolution Number A201 – Single-use Plastics

Subject: Single-use Plastics  

Moved By: The Most Rev. Ron Cutler
Seconded By: Sydney Brouillard-Coyle

Be it resolved that this General Synod:

  1. Encourage dioceses and parishes to curtail their purchase of single-use plastic products with the intention to end their use by 2023, taking into consideration the accessibility needs of their communities;
  2. Encourage individual Anglicans to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic products;
  3. Encourage the Anglican Church of Canada to develop and promote resources aimed at supporting local efforts toward plastics reduction.

Source: Creation Matters Working Group

Submitted By: Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice Coordinating Committee                

Does this motion contain within it any financial implications?      Yes     No

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications?   Yes    No


Plastic products are produced from oil, a non-renewable resource. Single use plastics are those items that are used only once before being thrown away. This includes products such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, and foam food packaging such as styrofoam.

While some plastic products are recycled, most end up in landfills or in the ocean. Plastic is not biodegradable. It breaks down over a long period of time into smaller pieces; these pieces have been known to make their way into food chains and water supplies. Dramatically, in the ocean, some plastics have clumped together into large floating islands of garbage. Moreover, plastic is not easily recycled into new products and in many communities foam packaging is not eligible for recycling programs at all.

Both the fifth Mark of Mission and our Baptismal Covenant call us to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. We are a long way from eliminating the use of all plastics. Choosing to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic is a step toward sustainability. The resolution seeks to respect the need for products that promote health and inclusion, while challenging us to reflect on how changes in personal habits may contribute to a reconciled relationship with the earth.

Our Full Communion Partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, will likely be considering a similar resolution during the 2019 National Convention.


In the normal course, an ordinary motion must be passed by a majority of the members of General Synod present and voting together. Six members of General Synod may, prior to the question being put, require a vote by Orders, with a majority of each Order being necessary to pass. 

If a question passes on a Vote by Orders, any six members (two from each of three different dioceses) may immediately before the next item of business require a vote to be taken by dioceses. A motion passes if a majority (or a tie) of dioceses vote in favour. 

Source: Sections 4 and 5 of the Declaration of Principles and sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Rules of Order and Procedure.