CPIA Reports Plastics Recycling Growth in Canada

Canadian association claims plastic film recycling increased by 50 percent between 2009 and 2010.

June 12, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Plastics

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has released a new report showing that the recycling rate for plastic packaging increased by 15 percent in 2010 compared with 2009. The report, prepared by Moore Recycling Associates Inc., Sonoma, Calif., notes that more than 217 million kilograms (477 million pounds) of post-consumer plastic packaging was collected for recycling in Canada in 2010.

The report is based on a survey of more than 500 North American companies, including reclaimers, exporters, brokers and material recovery facilities, involved in recycling plastics.
"We are elated that around 70 percent of the plastic packaging collected was recycled in Canada,” says Carol Hochu, president and CEO of the CPIA. “This amounts to more than 149 million kilograms. We are building a recycling industry in Canada, reusing valuable plastic materials and creating jobs to grow the economy".
Plastic packaging collected for recycling includes plastic bottles, nonbottle rigid plastics, such as deli and dairy containers, bakery, vegetable, fruit containers, and plastic film, bags and outer wrap.
The figures for 2010 represent an increase of 13 percent for bottles, for a total of 150 million kilograms (330 million pounds); an increase of 6 percent for nonbottle rigid plastics, for a total of almost 30 million kilograms (66 million pounds); and an increase of 36 percent for plastic bags and outer wrap, for a total of almost 37 million kilograms (81 million pounds).
According to the report, the volume of plastic film and bags collected for recycling from commercial businesses increased 50 percent increase in 2010. Of the total film and bags recovered, one-third came from consumer curbside recycling programs across Canada, the study notes.
The CPIA also notes that Canadian plastics recyclers are seeking more supply because they have underutilized capacity. For instance, the association estimates that the film and bag recycling capacity in Canada is at 38 percent utilization, while nonbottle rigid recycling capacity is at 47 percent utilization.
Cathy Cirko, vice president of CPIA, says, "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.”