Canadian Packaging

Federal Government and Six Key Players Partner to Create a Circular Economy for Plastics

The first phase of the project will run through October 2020.

February 26, 2020   Canadian Packaging

Five leading companies in Canada’s food, beverage and packaging sector are joining forces and created the Circular Plastics Taskforce (Groupe d’action plastiques circulaires, or GAPC) to develop a circular economy for plastics, in partnership with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada. Éco Entreprises Québec will also support the project as a consultant and financial partner.

With the goal of closer alignment between market needs and recycling stakeholders (material recovery facilities (MRF) and packaging companies), Cascades, Danone Canada, Dyne-a-pak, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, TC Transcontinental, and CPIA have teamed up with Centre de transfert technologique en écologie industrielle (CTTEI) at the Sorel-Tracy CÉGEP and Chamard Stratégies environnementales to identify and recommend solutions for optimizing the handling of plastics throughout the recycling value chain.

The group will map the recycling value chain and use pilot projects to test innovative solutions. “We are all aware of the need to recover plastics more effectively in Canada, but more important still, to recycle them within a circular economy. Our goal is to see all types of plastic recycled locally and to develop a strong recycled resin market in the province. For that to happen, we need to step up support for our MRFs and packaging companies. We’re committed to taking action and being part of the solution,” explained GAPC’s founding members.

With this initiative, GAPC members are seeking to provide concrete solutions to the challenges currently facing the recycling industry in Quebec and Canada. To that end, they will be fostering the expansion of existing markets and the creation of new dynamic local and national markets. These will be fueled by a high-performance industry that produces quality recycled materials, in order to lay the foundations for a truly circular plastics economy. This project, driven by industry leaders, is therefore fully in line with the Quebec government’s recent announcement regarding its willingness to reinforce the responsibility of producers in the management of the recycling system.

Environment and Climate Change Canada will help fund the initial project phase with a contribution of nearly $475,000 over two years. The rest of the funding of this first step will come from the contribution of the GAPC’s founding members, as well as from Éco Entreprises Québec, who will also support the project with their expertise and know-how.

GAPC also works with various provincial government agencies and has been consulted by departments within the ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) and the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les Changements climatiques (MELCC) in drawing up the provincial government’s plastics strategy.

“The issue of plastic recycling is a growing concern for the public and this venture is a clear sign that we’re moving in the right direction and that the industry is committed to finding concrete solutions,” said Sonia Gagné, CEO of RECYC-QUÉBEC.

“Éco Entreprises Québec salutes the leadership of the companies that have come together for this project and their willingness to support the use of plastics stemming from curbside collection in Quebec, thereby providing a local outlet for these materials. We are proud to be able to play a role in it,” said Éco Entreprises Québec CEO Maryse Vermette.

The Quebec Business Council on the Environment (CPEQ) also supports this private-sector initiative. “This promising venture reflects the genuine desire of the companies involved to contribute to the circular economy, the development of green technologies, and the creation of profitable outlets for recycled plastics in Quebec,” said CPEQ CEO Hélène Lauzon.

Based on the initial timeline, the first phase of the project will run through October 2020.


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