Canadian Plastics

The Circular Plastics Taskforce completes Phase I of its initiative to support a circular economy for plastics

The goal of Phase I was to conduct a detailed mapping of the value chain of the plastics recycling industry in Quebec, to determine market needs and to establish optimization hypotheses.

September 28, 2021   Canadian Plastics

The Circular Plastics Taskforce (CPT) has completed the first phase of its efforts to implement a circular economy for plastics in Quebec and Canada. Officially launched in 2020, the CPT is a collaborative effort of organizations interested in finding concrete solutions to improve the management of post-consumer plastics. It brings together five major food, beverage and packaging companies in Canada (Cascades, Danone Canada, Dyne-a-pak, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada and TC Transcontinental), the Chemical Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) and Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ). The first phase of the CPT’s project was completed with the financial support of Environment and Climate Change Canada and ÉEQ, and the active support of several public and private organizations.

Phase I: Mobilize Industry Players
“The objective of Phase I was to conduct a detailed mapping of the value chain of the plastics recycling industry in Québec, to determine market needs and to establish optimization hypotheses aimed at achieving the required specifications, following a reverse engineering approach,” CPT officials said in a Sept. 27 news release. “The work completed in this first phase consisted of five activities: 1) establishing an understanding of the situation in consultation with stakeholders; 2) analyzing potential markets; 3) establishing a profile of processors, recyclers and sorting centres; 4) developing a report, findings and recommendations, and; 5) setting up and carrying out simulation tests to validate the potential of the identified optimization paths.”

Among the findings of Phase I and summarized in the White Paper launched on Sept. 27 by the CPT, the work has demonstrated the relevance of mobilizing industry players and the opportunity created through better alignment of the market with other players in the value chain. “There is a growing demand for recycled plastics, but it is not aligned with supply,” CPT said. “A redesign of the value chain will therefore be essential, especially to maximize the collection of the different types of plastics in the right bale, according to the specifications of each resin.” Finally, CPT said, it will be important to address the important issue of residuals for plastic processors, to promote the use of recycled resin and to make it accessible (volume/quality) to support the development of dynamic local markets.

“Phase I allowed us to see that there are major challenges, but the opportunities and potential benefits are just as great,” said the CPT steering committee. “The findings will allow us to identify and implement concrete pilot projects in the short term. Our goal is that all plastics be recycled locally and that a solid market for recycled resins be established domestically. This project demonstrates that close collaboration between industry players and end markets can be beneficial and contribute to building a circular economy for plastics in Canada.”

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Phase II to begin in Fall 2021: Deploying Concrete Solutions for Immediate Impact
The second phase of the CPT initiative will begin in Fall 2021. It will include the implementation of several pilot projects in sorting centres and at processing sites to quickly and concretely improve the quality of outgoing materials and the recycling rate of all plastic packaging. “The goal is to enable the expansion of end markets for recycled plastics, within the context of extended producer responsibility’s (EPR) modernized curbside collection,” CPT officials said. “The CPT is positioning itself as a catalyst for change towards the implementation of a circular economy for plastics.”


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