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Canada's recycling rate grew by 10 percent in 2012

By: Michael Lauzon

March 20, 2014

Canada’s plastic packaging recycling rate grew in 2012 for the third year in a row, according to a study commissioned by Canadian Plastics Industry Association of Mississauga, Ontario.

In total, more than 627 million pounds of post-consumer plastics packaging was recycled in 2012, 10 percent more than in the previous year. About 83 percent of the volume was consumed in North America, CPIA reported on March 19.

Plastics collected for recycling included bottles, rigid containers, film, bags, outer wrap and expanded polystyrene. The materials were processed into new bottles, fleece jackets, pipe, pallets, crates, decking and lawn and garden products.

Bottle recycling grew 3 percent to 384 million pounds. Rigid containers, at 78 million pounds, were up 29 percent versus 2011. Plastic bags and outer wrap rose 18 percent to 97 million pounds. Expanded polystyrene volumes were up 24 percent to 2 million pounds.

“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,” stated CPIA President and CEO Carol Hochu in a news release.

Canadian recyclers want more supply since they have underutilized capacity, the study found. Film and bag recyclers used 49 percent of their capacity in 2012 while non-bottle rigid container recyclers ran at 60 percent of capacity.

Moore Recycling Associates Inc. of Sonoma, Calif., conducted the survey called 2012 Post Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada.