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Plastic packaging recycling in Canada up by 9% in 2013: report


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April 13, 2015 by Canadian Plastics

An additional 9% of plastic packaging was recycled in Canada in 2013 compared with 2012, a new report concludes.

Complied by Moore Recycling Associates Inc. and released by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the report attributes the increase to more material being collected for recycling as well as more companies providing recycling information.

In total, more than 311 million kilograms of postconsumer plastic packaging were collected in Canada in 2013 for recycling.

The results are derived from a voluntary survey of more than 500 companies that handle recycled plastics in North America. These companies are made up of reclaimers, exporters, brokers, material recovery facilities and other handlers of used plastics.

“We are proud to report that over 80% of the plastic material reported was reclaimed in Canada or the USA. This amounts to more than 240 million kilograms. It is evident the plastics recycling industry in North America is an important element in the circular economy,” said CPIA president and CEO Carol Hochu.

According to the report, the reported quantities of plastic recycled in 2013, compared to 2012, represent an increase of 13 million kilograms for bottles and an increase of 10 million kilograms for plastic film, such as bags and outer wrap. “Of particular note, there was a 23% increase in plastic film and bags recycling attributed to both an increase in collection and strengthened participation in the survey,” the report said.

“Canadian plastics recyclers want more supply; they have underutilized capacity creating ample opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply our recyclers with more plastics,” the report continued. “It is estimated that the film and bag recycling capacity in Canada is at a 44% utilization rate and non-bottle rigid recycling capacity is at a 72% utilization rate.”

“Given the extensive recycling infrastructure, the impact of China’s Green Fence on Canadian businesses was minimized,” said Krista Friesen, VP Sustainability, CPIA. China enacted the Green Fence policy in 2013, which allows it to reject shipments at ports if they are deemed too contaminated. “CPIA’s efforts and this new report show that the Canadian plastics recycling industry is strong and growing. Consumers, communities and businesses are encouraged to continue to grow their plastics recycling programs. Used plastics are valuable resources to be re-manufactured into new products,” Friesen added.

The report is available at this link.