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Most Canadians have access to plastics recycling: study

A new study prepared for the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) shows that an increasing number of Canadians have access to recycling many different forms of plastic packaging.


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April 13, 2012 by Canadian Plastics

A new study prepared for the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) shows that an increasing number of Canadians have access to recycling many different forms of plastic packaging.

According to the updated “Residential Recycling Access for Consumer Plastics Packaging” report, compiled in December 2011, Canadians enjoy nearly country-wide access to plastic bottle recycling (95+%) and 91% access to recycling of household tubs and lids used for yogurt containers and other dairy products, which is an improvement from 88% in 2009.

The report also highlights access for PET non-bottle rigid packaging, such as trays or bakery clamshells, which can now be recycled by 76% of Canadians, three percentage points more than in 2009.

The largest increase in access for a particular material noted in the report is for foamed polystyrene, the study found. Foamed polystyrene for food packaging is now recyclable by 32% of Canadians – an increase of seven percentage points since 2009 – and access to recycling for expanded polystyrene protective packaging has more than doubled, increasing from 12% to 31%, in that same time frame. “We believe that recycling access for foam polystyrene has risen significantly due to advances in affordable technology which can compact the foam material, thereby reducing its volume and improve cost to ship to recyclers”, said Cathy Cirko, vice president of the Toronto-based CPIA.

Access to recycling of plastic bags and other films, meanwhile, is estimated at 56%, the study found.

“We are very pleased that so many Canadians have access to plastics recycling in their communities,” said Carol Hochu, the CPIA’s president and CEO. “We will continue to work with stewardship agencies and municipalities across Canada to help increase awareness, so that more people will recycle, diverting valuable plastic resources, and supporting our recycling industry.”