Recycling of post-consumer plastic in Canada up 24 percent
Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor -- Packaging Digest, 12/19/2012 4:26:01 PM
Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) released a new report that the amount of post-consumer plastic recycled in Canada has increased in 2011. An additional 24 percent of plastic packaging and products was recycled in 2011 compared to 2010 as reported by Moore Recycling Associates Inc. In total, more than 268.5 million kilograms of post-consumer plastic was collected for recycling in Canada.
The plastic packaging collected for recycling comes from a variety of every-day consumer goods such as plastic bottles, non-bottle rigid plastics such as deli and dairy containers, bakery, vegetable, fruit containers), plastic film, bags and outer wrap and foam polystyrene.
"This every-day packaging serves an essential purpose by preserving product integrity and once completed the packaging is an excellent resource for new consumer goods," says Cathy Cirko, VP of CPIA. Plastics packaging can have a continued life as a fleece jacket, new plastic bottles, pipes, pallets, crates, decking, picture frames and other lawn and garden products.
Compared to 2010, the recycled plastic quantities reported for 2011 by Moore Recycling Associates Inc. represent an increase of 19% for bottles (29.3 million kilograms), an amazing increase of 70 percent for non-bottle rigids (21 million kilograms) and a modest increase of 1 percent for plastic bags and outer wrap (272 thousand kilograms).
As well, for the calendar year 2011, the survey asked for specific information on the recycling of foam polystyrene (752 thousand kilograms), derived predominantly from cushion packaging for durable products and some foam food packaging e.g. for meat trays, clamshells, coffee cups. The expanded use of densification equipment to compress the foam has now enabled efficient transport to meet the growing recycled foam market demand in Canada, U.S. and overseas, making it worthwhile to track recycling progress. The foam packaging is recycled into fire protection products, crown moldings and decorative frames for mirrors, pictures and wall hangings.
"We are pleased that two thirds of Canadian sourced recycled plastic was recycled in Canada. Our recycling industry remains strong and capable of diverting more plastics from Canadian landfills," says Carol Hochu, President and CEO of the CPIA.
Non-bottle rigids up 70 percent
The non-bottle rigid plastic stream saw a substantial increase of 70 percent in 2011 due in part to more municipalities expanding collection to all plastic containers, beyond just bottles. "Simplifying collection practices for the public to recycle all plastic containers is helping grow plastic recycling. The CPIA is committed to work with governments, industry and others to encourage more consumer participation in these types of recycling programs," says Cirko.
The CPIA recognizes there is more to do as Canadian plastic recyclers want more supply. There is underutilized capacity creating ample opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply our recyclers with more plastics. For instance, it is estimated that the film and bag recycling capacity in Canada to be at 38 percent utilization of the capacity.
There is also growth in demand for good quality non-bottle rigid plastic, including PET thermoforms and Polyethylene and Polypropylene containers and bulky rigid items, as recycled bottle supplies continue to be tight.
For more information and resources on increasing plastics recycling, please visit: www.plastics.ca/recycling.
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is the national voice of Canada's plastics industry, representing the interests of processors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners across the country.
Source: Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA)