Canadian associations collaborate to optimize flexible plastics recycling
The Canada Plastics Pact (CPP), the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC), Circular Materials, the Circular Plastics Taskforce (CPT), Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), and the Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition of The Recycling Partnership have joined together to launch PRFLEX.
PRFLEX is an initiative aimed at improving the recovery and recycling rates of flexible plastics collected from Canadian households.
Flexible packaging is recognized for its lightweight, durability, versatility, efficient extension of food shelf life, and resource efficiency. However, given it is often made up of multiple resins and other materials, there are collection, sortation, and recycling infrastructure challenges that need to be addressed to improve its recyclability.
"Our common goal is to increase the use of recycled content in plastic packaging. For that to happen, we need improved sortation and recycling capacities in Canada. This first-of-its-kind initiative represents a stepping stone towards that objective by way of assessing the current situation and designing high-performing systems for films and flexibles across the country. We look forward to working together to increase recycling rates and advance a circular economy in Canada," says the PRFLEX leadership team in a joint declaration.
With the support of well-recognized consulting firms NovAxia Inc. and Lichens Recyclability Inc., the instigating members will be implementing this collaboration in four phases:
- Understanding baseline data to determine the percentage of flexible plastic packaging currently being collected and recycled, according to format and type, in each province.
- Identifying infrastructure gaps in material recovery facilities (MRFs) and at recyclers.
- Proposing new technologies and optimizing processes to increase capture rates, improve sorting and produce higher quality post-consumer recycled resins.
- Applying learnings by installing and measuring the performance of the better-suited equipment in select partner facilities.
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