The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) released a new report today informing Canadians that their recycling efforts have increased the amount of post-consumer plastic packaging being recycled across Canada. An additional 15% 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, MRFs (Material Recovery Facilities) and other handlers of used plastics.
“We are elated that around 70% 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” says 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% for bottles (for a total of 150 million kilograms), an increase of 6% for non-bottle rigids (for a total of almost 30 million kilograms) and an increase of 36% for plastic bags and outer wrap (for a total of almost 37 million kilograms).
Of particular note, there was over a 50% 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% utilization of the capacity and non- bottle rigid recycling capacity is at a 47% utilization of the capacity. There is plenty of room to increase plastics recycling.
“Given the large access to plastic recycling collection programs across Canada, we are calling upon consumers and businesses to participate in them. Used plastics are valuable resources to be re-manufactured into new products,” says Cathy Cirko, VP of CPIA.
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is the national voice of Canada’s plastics industry, representing the interests of processors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners across the country.