Circular Lighting Report

Canada bans fluorescents

Fluorescent lamps yesterday

The Government of Canada has announced that it is to start the process of banning fluorescent lamps and other mercury-containing light sources from 2025.

The Regulations Amending the Products Containing Mercury Regulations will prohibit the import and manufacture of the most common lamps containing mercury for general lighting purposes as of December 31, 2025.

The bill is the final step that will allow Canada to fully align with the international Minamata Convention on Mercury for products. Prohibiting the manufacture and import of the most common lamps containing mercury in Canada is identified as a key priority in the National Strategy for Lamps Containing Mercury, which seeks to eliminate lamps as a source of mercury pollution in Canada.

By 2035, it is expected that the regulations will allow Canada to decrease the quantity of mercury released from lamps into the environment by 91 per cent (681 kilograms) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.6 megatonnes.

Since the adoption of the Products Containing Mercury Regulations in 2015, the market for mercury-containing products has declined, and most lamps initially exempt from prohibition now have readily available substitutes in Canada. T

o facilitate the transition to mercury-free alternatives for lamps that are already in use, the regulations will allow a two-year exemption for replacement lamps to continue to be imported or manufactured for pin-base compact fluorescent lamps, straight fluorescent lamps, and non-linear fluorescent lamps until the end of 2027. Retailers will be allowed to sell their stock of replacement lamps until the end of 2029.

‘As a known toxic substance, mercury has been managed in many ways over the past fifty years,’ said Canadian environment minister Steven Guilbeault.  ‘We’ve seen the release of mercury into the air and water decline by half since 2007. It is crucial that we continue to protect the health of Canadians and their environment, while encouraging businesses to transition to safer alternatives.’

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.