The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) released a new report today: “2015 Post-Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada” informing Canadians that their recycling efforts continue to increase the amount of post-consumer plastic packaging being recycled across Canada. This is the 7th year the CPIA has conducted this study. In 2015 the numbers show Canada’s recycling systems and plastics industry realized an additional 0.4% of plastic recycled in 2015 compared to 2014 as reported by Moore Recycling Associates. This increase is the result of more plastic products and packaging collected, specifically HDPE (#2) bottles for recycling. In total, at least 322 million kilograms of post-consumer plastic packaging were collected in Canada for recycling.
The study results come from a voluntary survey that is sent out to more than 500 companies that handle recycled plastics in North America. These companies are made up of re-claimers, exporters, brokers, material recovery facilities (MRFs) and other handlers of used plastics.
Over the last 7 years the study has consistently indicated that Canada’s plastics routinely remain in North America to be processed rather than moving to overseas markets. “Every piece of plastic matters. We are proud to report that we are seeing slight increases in both the amounts of plastic material collected, up 0.4% (~1.3 million kgs) and reported as reclaimed in Canada, up to 79% (~254 million kgs) from 78%” says Carol Hochu, President and CEO of the CPIA.
Plastic packaging collected for recycling includes plastic bottles, non-bottle rigid plastics (such as deli, dairy, bakery, and produce containers), and flexible film packaging, such as plastic bags and outer wrap. These valuable resources are recycled into many new useful items such as fleece jackets, new plastic bottles, pipe, pallets, crates and buckets, decking, and other lawn and garden products.
The reported plastic quantities represent a net increase of 1.3 million kilograms. HDPE natural bottles provided the overall growth in 2015 with an increase of 5.7 million kilograms; all other categories combined had a decrease of 4.4 million kilograms. While the net increase is good news, Canadian plastics recyclers want more supply; they have underutilized capacity creating ample opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply our recyclers with more plastics.
“Canada’s plastic recycling infrastructure is key to our circular economy. Every recyclable piece of plastic collected can be fully utilized and be incorporated into another product cycle. The CPIA provides support to stewardship programs and municipal recycling systems across Canada with information and education resources available at www.plastics.ca.” says Joe Hruska, VP Sustainability, CPIA.