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Remade in Canada: Black plastic trays and containers recycled

Customers of one of Canada’s largest plastics recycling companies turn recycled black plastic packaging into automobile parts, household containers and shelving.

2 Min Read
Remade in Canada: Black plastic trays and containers recycled

Contrary to popular belief, black plastics are being recycled for reuse in value-added ways. Exemplifying that is one of Canada’s largest plastics recycling companies, where black plastics are an important business resource and feedstock. ReVital Polymers Inc. (Sarnia, Ontario) wants municipalities’ Blue Box black plastic because the recycler’s customers use recycled black plastic to manufacture products such as new automobile parts and household goods including containers and shelving.

ReVital is Canada’s first recycling plant that combines a Container Recovery Facility and a Plastics Recovery Facility under one roof. The process of transforming incoming mixed plastic bales into recycled plastic pellets takes less than 25 minutes to complete.

ReVital plans to expand the range of materials it accepts from recycling programs next year. Clients in the household goods, construction and automotive sectors purchase ReVital’s recycled plastic pellets to make a range of new products.

“No one I know thinks its right to use a plastic product or package once and then send it to landfill,” said Keith Bechard, ReVital’s Chief Commercial Officer. “In Ontario alone, about 1,405 tonnes of black plastics are generated annually. That would fill more than 70 transport trucks parked end-to-end stretching for 1.7 kilometers. That is a significant amount of valuable material and that’s why we invested in the technology to recover black plastics.”

Bechard (shown at right) said recent Toronto media reports claiming that black plastic trays and containers are unrecyclable have caused great confusion for the public, not just in Ontario but across Canada.

“The Toronto media reports were specific to that community's recycling program and their recycling service provider,” he said. “The City and their service provider's limitations are not reflective of the rest of the recycling industry in Ontario and Canada.”

Municipalities across the province of Ontario and beyond, including Ottawa, Kingston, Durham and Windsor, have been shipping mixed plastics to ReVital’s 188,000-square-foot plastics recycling operation since it opened in February 2017.

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Bechard said the market for black recycled plastics is strong.

“In fact, we turn most of these high value materials into customized and highly engineered resins that are tailored to specific customer end-use applications,” he said. “This customized approach ensures ReVital improves recovery rates for end-of-life products and packaging, extends material value and utility, and allows our automotive and consumer household product customers to manufacture new products that incorporate recycled content.”

Note: The editor would also like to credit PAC for assisting in this report.

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