Plastics recycling rate in Canada reaches record

Plastics recycling rate in Canada reaches record

Report finds that access to plastic beverage container recycling in Canada stands at 98 percent.

February 6, 2015

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has released its 2014 Recycling Access Report for Plastic Containers and Packaging, which shows that the number of recycling programs that now accept and recycle plastic packaging has grown to the largest ever in 10 years.

“This year’s study, which marks a decade of data, provides validation of our support and outreach efforts to help industry, government and fellow Canadians to have more opportunities to recycle plastic packaging,” says Krista Friesen, vice president of sustainability, CPIA.

While access to recycling of plastic beverage containers continues to hold steady at 98 percent or more, the report found that the biggest gains have been realized for non-bottle rigid containers made from a variety of resin types.

The national rate for access to recycling of plastic non-bottle containers is at least 93 percent for the most common resin types of PET (polytheylene terephthalate) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene). And for nonbottle containers made from other resin types, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), LDPE (low-density polyetehylene) and PP (polypropylene), recycling access rates are greater than 80 percent. For noncontainer plastic packaging, there have been steady gains in the national and provincial access rates with more and more municipal recycling programs beginning to include these items in their systems.

The CPIA notes that the latest access for municipal recycling of retail shopping bags is 67 percent and horticultural rigid plastics is 74 percent.

The annual report provides information on a national scale with specific details of each province’s plastic container and noncontainer recycling access rates, the group says.

“Each year the Canadian plastics industry undertakes proactive outreach and program support to municipalities across Canada in order to increase the amount and types of plastics collected for recycling. Our 2014 study shows that Canadians have even greater opportunities to recycle plastics through their municipal programs than they did last year,” says Carol Hochu, CEO and president, CPIA.