The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) will work with the Promenade Shopping Center on a pilot project for the collection and recycling of polyethylene (PE) flexible film. The Promenade already had an established recycling and organics program, which consisted of gathering materials such as paper, containers and food waste are collected and diverted from landfill.
"Within the remaining waste stream, it was very apparent that there are large volumes of PE flexible film that could be recovered for recycling. This opportunity made it easy to work with the CPIA and take the next recycling step," said Liem Vu, general manager of the Promenade.
PE flexible film plastics are a large component of the commercial-packaging stream and are used increasingly for packaging, shipping and daily business. This pilot project is intended to establish a case study that can be utilized as a successful example of increasing PE flexible film recycling in a shopping center environment. Commercial PE flexible film generated from store operations includes clothing bags for shipping to store, pallet or stretch wrap, air pillows, and returned retail bags as part of product returns.
"Our goal is to educate and engage commercial centers to inform them on the value of recycling PE flexible film and we are pleased to have joined efforts with Promenade in our latest project" said Carol Hochu, president and CEO of the CPIA. The CPIA in collaboration with the Plastic Film Manufacturers Association of Canada (PFMAC) has retained the services of Summerhill to manage the project implementation and prepare the case study report.
This announcement comes after the release of CPIA's annual post consumer plastics recycling report, which noted that Canadian plastics recyclers want more supply; they have underutilized capacity creating ample opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply more PE flexible film to recyclers. It is estimated that the film and bag recycling capacity in Canada is utilized at 49%, which means there is plenty of room to increase PE flexible film recycling.
The CPIA said in the news release that it believes that with a successful pilot project, it can encourage more commercial centres to add PE flexible film as a component to their recycling programs and as a result, greater economic opportunities for Canadian recycling companies will ensue.