American Recycler News, Inc.


Plastic package recycling increases by 15 percent across Canada

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) released a new report informing Canadians that their recycling efforts have increased the amount of post-consumer plastic packaging being recycled across Canada. An additional 15 percent of plastic packaging was recycled in 2010 compared to 2009, as reported by Moore Recycling Associates Inc.

This increase is the result of more material collected for recycling as well as more companies providing recycling information. In total, over 217 million kilograms of post-consumer plastic packaging were collected for recycling in Canada.

The results are derived from a survey of over 500 companies who are handling recycled plastics in North America. These companies are made up of reclaimers, exporters, brokers, Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and other handlers of used plastics.

“We are elated that around 70 percent of the plastic packaging collected was recycled in Canada. This amounts to more than 149 million kilograms. We are building a recycling industry in Canada, re-using valuable plastic materials and creating jobs to grow the economy,” said Carol Hochu, president and CEO of the CPIA.

Plastic packaging collected for recycling includes plastic bottles, non-bottle rigid plastics such as deli and dairy containers, bakery, vegetable, fruit containers and plastic film, bags and outer wrap. These valuable resources are reused to make, for example, fleece jackets, new plastic bottles, pipe, pallets, crates and buckets, decking and other lawn and garden products.

The plastic recycled quantities reported for 2010 by Moore and Associates Inc. compared to 2009 represent an increase of 13 percent for bottles, an increase of 6 percent for non-bottle rigids and an increase of 36 percent for plastic bags and outer wrap.

Of particular note, there was over a 50 percent increase in plastic film and bags collected for recycling from commercial businesses. In addition, of the total film and bags recovered, a third came from consumer curbside recycling programs across Canada. CPIA continues to work with partners and stakeholders across Canada to increase recycling opportunities and it appears to be paying off.

And even better, Canadian recyclers of plastics want more supply; they have underutilized capacity creating ample opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply our recyclers with more plastics. For instance, it is estimated that the film and bag recycling capacity in Canada to be at 38 percent utilization of the capacity and non-bottle rigid recycling capacity is at a 47 percent utilization of the capacity. There is plenty of room to increase plastics recycling.