Recyclers request government mandates for recycled plastic content in bags

Read the full story in Waste Dive.

More than a dozen recycling businesses and advocacy groups have signed a letter urging the Canadian federal and provincial governments to adopt recycled content mandates or procurement policies for plastic bags. EFS-plastics spearheaded the effort, with signatories including Sims Municipal Recycling, GDB International, FirstStar Recycling, More Recycling, Reterra and Revolution Plastics.

The signatories want government legislation requiring the minimum recycled content in garbage bags to reach 10% by 2020, 15% by 2022 and 20% by 2024. They are advocating for minimum recycled content in plastic carryout bags to reach 10% by 2021, 15% by 2023 and 20% by 2025. The recommendations specifically encourage the use of “post-consumer” recycled plastic content.

The letter notes that “[w]hile high-value commodities like cardboard or water bottles can still be sold domestically, lower-value commodities like plastic bags are at the greatest risk of being landfilled or incinerated.” Preliminary analysis from More Recycling indicates 300,000 tons of plastic bags collected for recycling in North America last year may have been disposed due to lack of markets.

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