Plastic packaging recycling in Canada is up 3%, according to a new report from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.
The report, created by Moore Recycling Associates Inc., shows the increase from 2013 to 2014. Results come from a voluntary survey that had 60 respondents — including reclaimers, exporters, brokers and material recovery facilities — that handle recycled plastics in North America.
Here are the numbers: Moore Recycling Associates reports that at least 320.7 million kilograms (707 million pounds) of post-consumer plastic, including commercial materials, were collected for recycling in 2014. A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds.
The 3% increase is primarily due to increases in film and high density polyethylene bottle recycling, according to the report.
“While a 3% increase may not seem like much, it is important to remember that we are seeing continued improvement in lightweighting of packaging, so to realize any increase means that a larger volume of plastics were recovered,” said Krista Friesen, vice president of sustainability at the association, in a statement.
Of the total amount of plastic packaging recyclables, 78% were reclaimed in Canada or the United States and another 17% was exported, the report states. As for the other 5%, that's unclear.
While increases in film and HDPE bottle recycling primarily helped push the recycling number higher, PET bottles actually have the largest share of post-consumer plastic packaging recycling in Canada at 113.1 million kilograms (249.3 million pounds) in 2014, up 300,000 kilograms (661,387 pounds) from the year before.
HDPE bottles recycling was at 69 million kilograms (152.1 million pounds), up 2.4 million (5.3 million pounds) from 2013.
Film was at 61.8 million kilograms (136.2 million pounds), up 7.8 million kilograms (17.2 million pounds), the report states. That's a 14% increase the report says is due to increased collection, primarily from curbside programs.
The report is based on survey work done by Moore Recycling Associates as well as the Association of Plastic Recyclers and the National Association for PET Container Resources.