June 5 – It’s World Environment Day - Join the Conversation on Closing the Gap Between Landfill and Recycling
Today – World Environment Day – brings into focus the work that policy-makers, companies and government staff around the world are doing to integrate circular economy principles into strategies that guide waste management and sustainability activities. We should be hopeful, and we are. But after several years of discussion, we're at the challenging point of considering what exactly circular economy will mean in practice, from the perspective of products and packaging design and the systems we use to manage and re-value them at the end of their 'first lives.'
In the wake of the China National Sword, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association created a confidential Online Plastics Markets Reporting Tool to collect data on the amount of recovered plastic packaging that might be stranded as China closed its doors to waste plastic imports. Our intention was to aggregate the information and compile data on the types of plastic resins and total number of tonnes that collectors had not been able to move and to use the information to shop for potential end-markets that need significant tonnage to grow new plastic processing capacity.
Some packaging materials simply may not belong in the traditional blue box either now or perhaps ever. For other newer types of plastic packaging, it may be that recycling technology just needs time to catch up.
About one-third of Canadian households use single-serve coffee makers on a regular basis so the presence of used pods in household and office waste streams is ubiquitous. The single-serve pods provide the benefit of brewing only the amount of coffee that will be consumed instead of the common practiceof pouring large quantities of un-consumed coffee down the drain.
CPIA would like to remind municipalities and recycling materials brokers that we are continuing to collect information about plastics recovered in recycling programs that cannot be marketed because of problems stemming from China’s ban on 24 categories of waste paper and plastics.
CPIA Would Like to Hear from You- Online Reporting Tool Available to Record Stranded PlasticsAs China continues to implement a ban targeting 24 categories of imported low-grade recycling materials that contain “dirty wastes or even hazardous materials”, concerns about shipments being rejected at entry ports is growing in Canada, potentially leaving recyclers and brokers with stranded tonnes.
Developing diversion and recycling solutions for flexible plastic packaging like pouches - Fall 2017
The recycling industry has evolved to become more comprehensive over the past 40 years by identifying and solving recycling challenges – creating opportunities to bring together the right people in partnerships and reviewing the best processes and innovations to generate sustainable solutions.
Amazing inventions and new ideas using and focusing on plastics are happening around the world every day. For example, a 3D printer is being used to make plastic baby hearts so doctors can practice delicate surgery. In another part of the world an inventor has crafted a car from polystyrene foam. And in the Netherlands, a teenager has invented and is testing a pilot system to capture plastics in the ocean.
Circular Economy (CE) and Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) are powerful approaches to address the growing pressures on global resources that arise from population growth and growing economies. Several jurisdictions are integrating these concepts in policy and legislation but there’s also confusion about what CE and SMM mean and the impact they may have for the recycling industry.