5 little-known details about recycling packaging and paper in BC

We’re taught from an early age in regards to the significance of decreasing our carbon footprint. However, as we purchase packaged items or store extra on-line, it’s essential to teach ourselves on how we will handle our packaging safely and responsibly. That approach, we will guarantee supplies that would in any other case get reused or recycled don’t find yourself in a landfill.

In accordance with Recycle BC’s 2021 annual report, over 229,000 tonnes of recycling have been collected as a part of the packaging and paper product program — a rise of over 5% from 2020.

Whereas the statistics could shock you, we will every do our half to assist reduce our impression on the atmosphere by decreasing, reusing, and recycling all accepted packaging and paper. The method helps preserve waste out of our landfills and the atmosphere, and right here in BC, we hit a record-high restoration price of recyclable supplies at over 94%.

To assist keep away from any confusion round recycling — and what ought to go into your blue recycling bins or baggage – listed here are 5 little-known details about how you can recycle correctly in BC.

Truth: BC has an extended checklist of supplies you’ll be able to recycle

5 little-known details about recycling packaging and paper in BC

Recycle BC

Recycle BC providers over 2.03 million households in 183 communities. With a lot protection by one firm, the province should definitely have a smaller materials checklist of packaging and paper recycling applications than the remainder of the nation.

Really, BC has one of many largest materials lists of any program in Canada, together with many gadgets that aren’t at the moment accepted in different localities across the nation.

When Recycle BC launched in 2014, it expanded the prevailing materials checklist and made it constant all through BC. At present, it contains gadgets like espresso cups, plant pots, magnificence product packaging, empty espresso pods, and spiral-wound cans. You possibly can see the complete checklist of accepted supplies on its web site — with extra supplies being added in 2023.

Truth: you’ll be able to recycle plastic baggage in BC

Recycling depot bags with signs describing what goes in each bag

Recycle BC

This previous June, the Federal authorities introduced that it might ban the manufacture and import of single-use plastics this yr. This ban will embrace plenty of single-use plastics like cutlery, ring carriers, stir sticks, straws (with some exceptions), and, most significantly,  grocery baggage.

Atmosphere and Local weather Change Canada says that this ban will end result within the elimination of practically 1.3 million tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste and over 22,000 tonnes of plastic air pollution throughout the decade.

Till then, versatile plastics — together with plastic baggage, overwrap, and different versatile plastic packaging (suppose stand-up, zipper-lock pouches, and crinkly wrappers)  — will be dropped off at a recycling depot or a London Medicine retailer to make sure they’re successfully recovered and recycled right here in BC. What about all that inflexible protecting foam packaging that comes along with your electronics and equipment orders? That may be returned to a depot, too.

Truth: the plastics collected in BC are processed in BC

Man operating a forklift lifting a box with plastic beads

Recycle BC

If you happen to’ve ever examine nations transport plastic waste to the opposite aspect of the world for processing, you would possibly assume the identical occurs with the residential plastic packaging collected in BC. Nonetheless, in 2021, Recycle BC shipped its highest quantity of fabric but to native North American finish markets.

Over 97% of the plastics collected in BC have been offered to an area finish market in Metro Vancouver, the vast majority of which have been transformed into pellets for brand spanking new merchandise and packaging.

The plastic is transformed into uncooked supplies and offered to be made into new merchandise or packaging. For a small quantity of the non-recyclable materials collected, plastics are recovered into an engineered gasoline product to interchange non-renewable sources similar to coal.

Truth: the BC authorities doesn’t fund recycling applications

Man smiling around produce

Recycle BC

There’s a standard false impression that the federal government funds Recycle BC’s recycling applications; nevertheless, this isn’t the case. Recycle BC is a not-for-profit group and an prolonged producer accountability (EPR) program for residential packaging and paper. What this implies is that the companies that offer packaging and paper to BC residents take accountability for the end-of-life administration of these supplies and fund Recycle BC’s program.

This, in flip, strikes the prices away from native governments and owners. For context, 1,163 producers offered over $132 million in income to fund Recycle BC’s program and providers in 2021.

Truth: recycling impacts our oceans

wide shot of the ocean

Recycle BC

BC’s waters are residence to a few of the world’s most majestic creatures, and one other fantasy about recycling is that doing it extra usually gained’t make a distinction to our oceans and atmosphere. However the actuality is that guaranteeing recyclable supplies find yourself in the appropriate place (trace: your recycling bins or at a drop-off location) helps preserve them out of the atmosphere. Recycling all of the packaging and paper you’ll be able to at residence or at a depot (i.e. versatile plastics and foam packaging) permits Recycle BC to handle and recycle extra materials responsibly, so it may be used to make new merchandise and packaging.

Recycling reduces waste and contributes to a round economic system — resulting in environmental, social, and financial advantages. If extra accepted supplies are collected, then extra will be recycled. Subsequently, you play a vital function within the recycling course of by guaranteeing all accepted supplies are set out or taken to a depot for assortment.

Recycle BC processes over 200,000 tonnes of fabric every year, equating to the load of 33,000 orca whales. This demonstrates a province-wide effort in the direction of a extra sustainable future.

To be taught extra in regards to the impression that you could have and discover a depot in your space, go to Recycle BC’s web site.

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