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Challenges Of Recycling Plastic

09 Jul

I’d recently read an interesting article in The Economist magazine entitled “The Truth About Recycling” (June 11th, 2007) that explained the mechanics of how plastic is recycled and the value of single stream over multi-stream processes allowing San Francisco to achieve a recycling rate of 69%! There’s a lot of solid technology that does what the fathers of modern recycling envisioned so many years ago. And now, with the Durham Region, where I live, in the final phase of approving an energy-from-waste facility we’ll have some real working models for other Canadian regions to base their recycling and diversion programs on.

In her July 6th, 2007 article entitled “Market For Plastics Just Not There“, Erin Hatfield indicates that although there is a reasonably efficient process in place to collect recyclable plastics there doesn’t appear to be enough market demand for the stuff in Ontario to push municipalities towards a more aggressive stand on the issue – remember that someone has to buy what the municipalities collect and reuse it or the whole program is a waste of time and money. I was truly surprised to read this considering I’ve visited a number of operations within the area that turns blue box plastic into plastic lumber (Northern Plastic in Lindsay, ON) and a fiber board used in agriculture and construction (New City Resources, Bowmanville, ON).

Being in the plastics distribution business, we, here at Warehoused Plastic Sales , work with hundreds of businesses that end up with plastic scrap – acrylic, polycarbonate, PETG, HDPE, & a host of mechanical plastics. We are constantly hounded by offshore middle men willing to pay real money for the bits and pieces that come off our saws. China is eating up everything it can get turning our leftovers into all kinds of products. So, why aren’t municipalities working with industry recycling professionals, such as one of Ontario’s larger regrind operations, Post Plastics, to find offshore buyers?

It’s important that plastic distributors, the people who bring plastic sheet, rod, & tube into the marketplace, share our expertise with non-industry agencies looking to do what we’ve been doing for a long time. It’s also important that we also put programs into place to ensure our customers are benefiting from the recycling technology available and diverting as much of their scraps from landfill as possible. Either we do this as an industry or the government begins implementing more industry watch dog programs such as “Stewardship Ontario“; or puts a recycling tax on plastic sheet, rod, & tube as it crosses the border.

** LINKS OF INTEREST **

Avant Garde Recycled Plastic Chairs

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