Check  your local
  municipa lity's  website, 
or give the recyc ling
progra m staff a call and 
ask  which materials
you can recycle in your
residential blue box.

Click on a directory
below to help identify 
drop off locations for
plastic bags & overwrap
OR polystyrene


Recycling for Residents

How many items do you think you've used today that contain recycled plastic packaging?

It may be more than you think! Most of us can't remember a time when plastic packaging wasn’t part of our daily lives which isn't surprising because plastic products and packaging have been in service for more than 100 years.

Over the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in the types of packaging available as well as the opportunities to recycle the materials when no longer needed. More and more products and packaging that we use every day include recycled resin. This is both a win and a challenge to do more.

 New plastics - new recycling opportunities

Just a few years ago, the main types of plastic packaging you would have used might have been pop and detergent bottles, or perhaps retail bags and yogurt and margarine tubs.

Many of the plastic resins used to make containers and other packaging have characteristics capable of:

  • Plastic RecyclingEnsuring product safety
  • Protecting products - like blister packs for medication
  • Preserving taste, nutrition and freshness
  • Containing contents
  • Maintaining quality and characteristics – like pop bottles that keep the liquid and bubbles in over a long period of time, or fruit trays that protect berries from being crushed
  • Offering convenience – of quick and pre-cooked fresh foods like bakery and chicken trays and frozen foods
  • Providing portion selection and quick shopping – like bakery and deli trays

More about plastic packaging and products

Matching services to demand

Over the past three decades, recycling programs across Canada have expanded to collect many more of the packaging materials that protect the items we purchase.

CPIA's first study of cross-Canada plastic recycling in 2004 tracked just four packaging types: PET beverage containers, HDPE beverage containers, PET and HDPE non-beverage containers and motor oil bottles. By 2009, this expanded to 14 and has now doubled to a record-breaking 28 container and other types of plastics recovered in Canadian municipal programs that we track for recycling.

Not only that, but the number of companies that are involved in the recycling industry has more than tripled in the past 10 years, investing millions of dollars in recycling initiatives and providing jobs throughout North America.

Canadians are recycling diverse types of plastic in many more municipal programs across the country and CPIA and its member will continue to support this growth.

About Recycling

Have you ever wondered how recycling works?

Recyclers employ technical and scientific processes to create the high quality recycled resin needed to create new products and packaging in a series of four main steps.

  1. Collecting selected items from homes and businesses or at local depots
  2. Sorting incoming recyclables at a local material recycling facility (MRF)
  3. Reprocessing – which involves, inspecting, chopping, washing, cleaning out non-plastic particles, drying, filtering and creating ‘plastic pellets’ or powders
  4. Manufacturing new packaging and products – where pellets or plastic powders are mixed with new resin and formed to create new packaging and products.

CPIA’s role

CPIA promotes recycling of plastic packaging, and products as much as possible, wherever possible. We also support and conduct ongoing research to identify markets for post-consumer plastics.