- A new report by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association — prepared by Moore Recycling Associates Inc. — shows that plastic packaging recycling rose by 3% between 2013 and 2014.
- Results come from a voluntary survey conducted by Moore, the Association of Plastic Recyclers, and the National Association for PET Container Resources. Reclaimers, exporters, brokers, and material recovery facilities comprised the 60 respondents.
- The majority of material was collected from Canada, though some came from the U.S. Much of the increase in diversion was attributed to film and high density polyethylene bottle recycling.
PET bottles made up the largest portion of Canada's packaging recycling in 2014 at 249.3 million pounds, followed by HDPE bottles at 152.1 million pounds and film at 136.2 million pounds. Film saw the largest jump due to increased curbside collection.
Though there is some concern about a future surplus of HDPE and PET in North America, commodity prices for PET have risen slightly in recent months and companies continue to see potential in recycling it. The interest in film collection has also jumped in the U.S. over the past few years as more drop-off sites become available and industry groups work with public agencies to boost diversion rates.
While rates for these categories are up overall, certain areas of Canada have struggled with their recycling programs lately. The city of Thunder Bay is looking at raising property taxes to cover its recycling program — due in part to growing landfill costs — and Ontario's diversion rate has been stuck for years. In response, the province recently passed the wide-ranging Waste-Free Ontario Act which could place more responsibility on producers for recycling.