Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


Cost-benefit analysis, disruptive public policy, single-use plastics


Beth-Anne B.A.S.L. Schuelke-Leech




During the past few decades, plastics pollution has become a global concern. Governments, in particular, are striving to find the best way to control the issues plastics have caused to the environment. The Government of Canada is seeking to phase out harmful single-use plastics by the end of 2021. The announced ban is a potentially disruptive public policy that may have consequences. A myriad of studies has been conducted on the environmental impacts of plastics, but there is a lack of literature on the evaluation of such regulations on manufacturers. This thesis aims to evaluate the economic implications of the proposed single-use plastics ban by generating a private cost-benefit analysis on manufacturers in Ontario and finds the impacts of transitioning from conventional plastics to alternative materials on companies. The model is applied to 139 single-use plastics companies in Ontario. This study assumes that manufacturers will make their decision based on the net present value of their overall benefits of material substitution. The results of the analytical model are then explained, and a series of sensitivity analyses are conducted for some parameters.The novelty of the proposed model lies in evaluating the impacts of the ban on manufacturers from an economic point of view, covering a wide range of single-use plastics products and a one-by-one cost-benefit analysis on companies within Ontario.