TORONTO - Plastic film manufacturers soon will get new guidelines for permission to use the ``green'' logo of Canada's federal Environmental Choice Program. The guidelines will make it easier for firms consuming recycled plastic to use the logo as a marketing tool.
The logo, depicting three doves in a ``chasing arrow'' motif, is aimed to spur companies to make more environmentally friendly products and to make consumers aware of such products, according to Kevin Gallagher, industry liaison officer for Environment Canada.
Only four Canadian plastics firms are certified to use the Environmental Choice logo. More companies are certified for recycled motor oil, water-based paints, paper and other products. Without set guidelines, plastics companies have had to prove a product's environmental benefits to a review panel, which can be a laborious process.
Gallagher said in an interview at Plast-Ex '95, held May 1-4 in Toronto, that industry input helped set the guidelines. Film products need guidelines on recycled content and must pass tests that ensure they perform well in normal use.
Plastic garbage bags, grocery sacks and retail sacks, for example, must have a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer material and 10 percent curbside-collected recycled material.
Companies applying to use the logo must pass an audit. If they are certified, they pay a license fee. The sliding scale fee begins at C$300 (US$221) per year if a product's sales are C$100,000 (US$73,700) or less annually, and goes higher, based on sales.
Environment Canada began the Environmental Choice Program in 1988 and published its first guidelines in 1990.
Companies certified to use the logo for recycled plastic content include: DuPont Canada Inc. for Vexar plastic fencing; PCL Plastics Corp. for a 90 percent recycled plastic liquor store bag; Symplastics Ltd. for Enviro-Flex binders and folders; and Transco Plastic Industries for recycled plastic bags.