The Recycling Challenge
Securing Market Capacity and Increasing Revenue for Recovered Plastics
Recycling success is not just measured by the quantity of materials that Ontario households put in their Blue Boxes. Curbside collection is only the start of the story. To get maximum benefit from recycling efforts, we must secure sufficient market capacity for recovered Blue Box material—and we must maximize the revenue received for these commodities.
Targeting the Recycling Supply Chain
Mixed plastics and plastic film make up an increasing volume of Blue Box waste, and it is our priority to divert as many of these materials as we can from landfill. To develop new markets, we must target each stage of the supply chain. This means nurturing the processing technologies that will produce recycled plastic feedstock that can be substituted for virgin materials in manufacturing. It also means identifying the manufacturers who are interested in using these recycled materials.
The Blue Box Solution
Increased Supply and Demand for Rigid Plastics
Back in 2006, we studied the barriers that prevent recycling of non-bottle rigid plastics—like cottage cheese tubs, yogurt capsules and grocery clamshells. We then sought out companies who want to find ways to overcome those barriers, and invited them to propose how they would use innovative technology to create commercially sustainable solutions.
Recycling Market Development Initiatives
EFS-plastics Inc. and Entropex were the two successful companies to emerge from this market development process and, in 2009, we made investments in these local companies so that they could install new technology to process plastics here in Ontario. Both projects were underway by 2010 and the first stage of each project was successful, triggering the next expansion phase.
At the same time, Stewardship Ontario worked with Gracious Living™, a local plastics product manufacturer, to develop a new Blue Box using feedstock from a number of post-consumer recycled plastic suppliers like Entropex and EFS-plastics Inc. This set in motion a chain of events that would lead to the recycled plastic totes, step stools, laundry baskets, drawers and caddies in Canadian Tire’s exclusive Blue Planet® line—innovative solutions to help customers reduce their impact on the environment while meeting everyday needs.
The Rigid Plastics Collaborators
Stewardship Ontario’s Blue Box—A not-for-profit organization funded and governed by the industries that make and market the products and packaging materials recycled through the programs it manages—the Blue Box and Orange Drop.
Gracious Living Group— Established in 1980, the company is a leading Canadian manufacturer and global importer of Patio Garden Furniture, Indoor Outdoor Organization Solutions, Utility Garage Systems as well as Pet Products Accessories. Gracious Living’s commitment to excellence in offering timeless design and quality construction is proudly reflected with internationally familiar brands.
EFS-plastics Inc.—A post-consumer plastic recycling and reprocessing company, specialized in mixed plastic (3-7 mix) and film (shopping bag) recycling. High quality pellets can replace virgin plastic up to 100 per cent in the manufacture of plastic bags, tool boxes, piping and other consumer products. The process diverts over 10,000 tons/year of mixed plastics and shopping bags from landfill.
Entropex—A privately owned Canadian company involved in the reprocessing of post-industrial and post-consumer plastics. Since 1978, Entropex has been a Canadian-based leader in the development of recycled plastics for a wide variety of construction, consumer product and industrial applications.
Canadian Tire—One of Canada’s most recognized and trusted brands since 1922, Canadian Tire’s work towards improving its efficiency and sustainable practices has garnered attention from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association who awarded the Company the 2011 Recycled Product Award.
We are always interested in hearing about new ideas to improve recycling. Contact us to talk about your green innovations and forward-thinking recycling technologies.