A new report claims an additional 15% of plastic packaging was recycled in 2010 compared to 2009 across Canada.
The report, conducted by Moore Recycling Associates, stated more than 217 million kilograms of post-consumer plastic packaging were collected for recycling in Canada.
The results are derived from a survey of more than 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," said Carol Hochu, president and CEO of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (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 resources are reused to make 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 compared to 2009 represent an increase of 13% for bottles, an increase of 6% for non-bottle rigids, and an increase of 36% for plastic bags and outer wrap.
In addition, there was a 50% increase in plastic film and bags collected for recycling from commercial businesses. Of the total film and bags recovered, a third came from consumer curbside recycling programs across Canada.
According to the CPIA, Canadian plastics recyclers have underutilized capacity, which can create opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply the 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.
"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," said Cathy Cirko, VP of CPIA.
This report follows news of a recent vote to ban plastic shopping bags in Toronto. The ban is anticipated to take full effect next January. The city council also voted to end the nickel fee for plastic bags, which will be effective next month.