This increase is mainly due to more plastic packaging collected for recycling. At least 320.7 million kilograms of post-consumer plastic were collected for recycling in the country in 2014.
Results came from a voluntary survey that is sent out to over 500 firms that handle recycled plastics in North America. These companies included reclaimers, exporters, brokers, material recovery facilities (MRFs) and other handlers of used plastics.
“We are proud to report that 78% of the plastic material reported was reclaimed in Canada or the USA. This amounts to more than 250 million kilograms,” CPIA President and chief executive Carol Hochu said.
Plastic bottles, non-bottle rigid plastics and flexible film packaging are among the plastic packaging that was collected for recycling. These resources are recycled into many new useful items such as pipe, new plastic bottles, buckets and pallets.
There was an increase of 800,000 kilograms for bottles and an increase of 7.8 million kilograms for bags and film in 2014.
“Canada’s plastic recycling infrastructure is well-established and working hard to increase recycling opportunities for everyone,” said Krista Friesen, VP of Sustainability at CPIA. Ms. Friesen added that “with CPIA’s efforts and the entrepreneurship of the Canadian plastics recycling industry, the survey results show the industry is integral to the circular economy.”
“While a 3% increase may not seem like much, it is important to remember that we are seeing continued improvement in the lightweighting of packaging, so to realize any increase means that a larger volume of plastics were recovered,” said Ms. Friesen.