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The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) released the 2012 Post Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada Report informing Canadians that their recycling efforts have improved.

For the third year in a row, the amount of post-consumer plastic packaging being recycled across Canada has increased.

An additional 10 percent of plastic packaging was recycled in 2012 compared to 2011 as reported by Moore Recycling Associates Inc. This increase is the result of more material collected for recycling as well as more companies providing recycling information. In total, over 285 million kilograms of post-consumer plastic packaging was collected for recycling in Canada.

The results are derived from an extensive survey of companies that handle recycled plastics in North America. These companies are made up of manufacturers, re-claimers, exporters, brokers and material recovery facilities.

“We are pleased to see an overall increase in companies participating in this valuable survey and in the amount of plastic packaging collected and recycled in Canada. The survey results found that 285 million kilograms were recycled and of that, 83 percent stayed here in North America. We continue to work with our members to build and grow our national recycling industry in Canada, re-using valuable plastic materials and creating jobs,” said Carol Hochu, president and chief executive officer of the 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 valuable resources are reused to make, for example, fleece jackets, new plastic bottles, pipe, pallets, crates and buckets, decking and other lawn and garden products.

The plastic recycled quantities reported for 2012 by Moore and Associates Inc. compared to 2011 represent an increase of 3 percent for bottles (for a total of 174.7 million kilograms), an increase of 29 percent for non-bottle rigids (for a total of 35.6 million kilograms), an increase of 18 percent for plastic bags and outer wrap (for a total of almost 44 million kilograms) and an increase of 24 percent for polystyrene foam (for a total of 926,000

The survey noted that Canadian recyclers of plastics want more supply; they have underutilized capacity creating ample opportunity for consumers and businesses to supply recyclers with more plastics. It is estimated that the film and bag recycling capacity in Canada increased from 38 percent to 49 percent utilization of the capacity and non-bottle rigid recycling capacity went from 47 percent to 60 percent capacity utilization. There is plenty of room to increase plastics recycling.

Published in the May 2014 Edition of American Recycler News