British Columbians are recycling their plastic water bottles, says the not-for-profit corporation that manages the deposit/refund system for most beverage containers sold in B.C.
Of the 477,943,398 plastic beverage containers containing soft drinks, water and juice purchased by British Columbians last year, 347,457,630 were recovered by Encorp Pacific (Canada)’s Return-It system, representing a province-wide recovery rate of 73 per cent.
“The majority of beverage containers, including plastic water bottles, are returned for recycling and don’t end up in municipal landfills,” says Malcolm Harvey, a spokesperson for Encorp Pacific. “We’re working on even better recovery rates by encouraging municipalities to create additional recycling facilities in outdoor spaces as well as reminding consumers to return containers for recycling.”
Plastic water bottles are 100 per cent recyclable and are one of the most recycled consumer products in Canada. The plastic from recycled water bottles, primarily polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is cleaned and pelletized for use in a variety of new products including beverage and other liquid product containers.
Encorp Pacific also notes that in addition to diverting materials from landfill, the recycling also saves energy. Energy is saved by reducing the energy demands associated with acquiring raw materials then transporting and processing them into usable materials. Although recycling also requires energy for transportation and processing, the demand is less and overall net savings are realized.
In 2007, Encorp’s plastics recycling program contributed to the reduction of about 18,724 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent being released into the atmosphere.
For more information, go to www.encorp.ca