Articles related to plastics and the circular economy

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CIAC Supports Key Findings from Canadian Energy Research Institute Study

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) is pleased to support and acknowledge several key findings in a study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI): Towards A Circular Economy of Plastic Products in Canada.

The comprehensive study, commissioned by CIAC, focuses on mapping the movement of plastic waste in different provinces by plastic type and identifies the economic opportunities associated with recycling post-consumer plastics. The CERI study is an important step in expanding data collection to better understand where and how to apply solutions to advancing a circular economy for plastics.

“This important study reinforces the significant opportunities developing a circular economy for plastics will bring to Canada,” said Elena Mantagaris, Vice President, CIAC Plastics Division.

The study highlights the importance of increased investments in mechanical and advanced recycling infrastructure.

The CERI study estimates the positive economic impacts of additional recycling infrastructure investments across Canada would add an additional $116 million annually to GDP and $109 million in tax revenue, while creating nearly 6,500 high-paying sustainable jobs. Once in operation, the facilities would have a production impact on GDP of C$6.7 billion.

By continuing to develop markets in regions throughout Canada, the CERI study supports the idea that plastics should be managed as a resource, not as waste. Further investment in technology, innovation, and infrastructure could support distinct recycling hubs in key provinces. Looking beyond the CERI report, we believe this could be an opportunity to grow market share by establishing plastics recycling hubs in Canada that encompass regions throughout North America.

Read Full Report

MP Dane Lloyd addresses importance of Made-in-Canada plastics in House of Commons

Dane Lloyd (MP for Sturgeon River – Parkland, AB) addressed the House of Commons recently, speaking about the importance of single-use, Made-in-Canada Plastics. In his address, Lloyd highlighted how Canada relies on plastics—which are key components in medical equipment—to help ensure the health of Canadians and how single-use plastics (gloves, masks, bags, etc.) protect Canadians from getting or transmitting the coronavirus.

Lloyd also points out that the federal government intends to designate certain types of plastic as “toxic” under Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environment Protection Act (CEPA).

Watch MP Lloyd address the House of Commons: https://youtu.be/0jpDRD72ANU

Canada’s chemistry and plastics industries making strides to tackle plastic waste

Canada’s chemistry and plastics industries making strides to tackle plastic waste

June 6, 2019

In celebration of Environment Week, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) are highlighting the important headway their members are making in tackling the global challenge of plastic waste in the environment.

Canada’s chemistry and plastics industry are also providing international support to tackle this global issue where it is most critical:

  • BASF, Dow, NOVA Chemicals, P&G, and Shell are founding members of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. This global alliance has committed over US$1 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment by working with international agencies.
  • In 2018, NOVA Chemicals announced a three-year investment of nearly $2 million to prevent plastic debris from reaching the ocean. Its first partnership is with Muncar, a coastal fishing community located in Banyuwangi, Indonesia.
  • In Indonesia, Dow worked with the government and various stakeholders to complete the first plastic road trial in Depok, Indonesia. Approximately 3.5 metric tons of plastic waste was mixed with asphalt to create a 1.8 kilometer road. The result of the two-month project was a plastic waste-based road that was more durable and stronger than typical roads. In addition to the roads lasting longer, they also reduced estimated greenhouse gas emissions by 30 tons by replacing nearly 10 per cent of bitumen that would be used in road asphalt.

Some of the key innovations already being employed by the Canadian chemistry and plastics industry include:

  • NOVA Chemicals and Dow have developed versatile, all-polyethylene versions of the popular stand-up pouch that are widely accepted at recycling centers while retaining the performance, processability and cost-competitiveness of existing mixed-material structures.
  • NOVA Chemicals tougher and more sustainable packaging including abuse-resistant, recyclable film structuredesigns and lightweight ARCEL® resins that protect fragile goods in transit.
  • Building on successful programs in the United States, Dow is working with a community in Ontario to bring THE Hefty® EnergyBag® program to Canada later in 2019. The first Canadian city will receive grant funding from the Dow Community Foundation to help launch the program in their community. The program complements mechanical recycling programs and uses existing curbside recycling infrastructure to capture many plastic materials that can’t currently be recycled. Once collected, these materials are diverted from landfills and converted into useful resources such as diesel fuel, oils and waxes.
  • Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation and Inter Pipeline Ltd will invest $7 million and $10 million respectively on research and development to facilitate the reduction of plastic waste, recycling and other improvements.
  • BASF is breaking new ground in plastic waste recycling with its ChemCycling project. Chemical recycling provides an innovative way to reutilize plastic waste that is currently not recycled, such as mixed or uncleaned plastics. Using thermochemical processes, these plastics can be utilized to produce syngas or oils. The resulting recycled raw materials can be used as inputs in BASF’s production, thereby partially replacing fossil resources. BASF has for the first time manufactured products based on chemically recycled plastic waste and is thus one of the global pioneers in the industry.
  • ReVital Polymers, Pyrowave and INEOS Styrolution announced a partnership in 2018 to recycle polystyrene packaging. This Canadian solution then uses the recycled polystyrene in the manufacturing of new products and packaging.
  • In 2018, Total S.A., a global energy producer, and Polystyvert, a Montreal-based clean technology startup with an innovative method for polystyrene recycling, teamed up to work on the dissolution and purification of household post-consumer polystyrene to generate high-quality recyclates addressing a broad range of polystyrene market requirements.
  • GreenMantra Technologies and INEOS Styrolution have signed a joint development agreement to align GreenMantra’s patented technology and INEOS Styrolution’s manufacturing infrastructure to convert waste polystyrene into chemical monomer building blocks, replacing a portion of virgin monomer feed in INEOS Styrolution’s polymerization process

Representing the broad plastics value chain in Canada, CPIA and CIAC and their members announced waste reduction targets on June 4, 2018: 100 per cent of plastics packaging being re-used, recycled, or recovered by 2040, and; 100 per cent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030. These are just some of the projects and initiatives in progress that will help CPIA and CIAC members achieve these targets.

“Plastics offer myriad of benefits for a modern and sustainable society. But the issue of what to do with plastic waste continues to be a global challenge that must be addressed. Canadians and indeed the world want real, workable solutions,” said Carol Hochu, President of CPIA.

“The innovation and ingenuity of the chemistry sector will be key in solving this problem and our industry is already stepping up to do our part and reach our goals of a zero plastic waste future,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

For more information, please see CIAC’s report: Role of Chemistry in a Circular Economy for Plastics.

CCME workshop explores Canada-wide action plan on zero plastic waste

On February 19 and 20, CIAC’s Executive Vice President, Isabelle Des Chênes, participated in the Canadian Council of Minister’s of the Environment (CCME) workshop to develop a Canada-wide action plan for zero plastic waste. CIAC members NOVA Chemicals, Dow Canada, Inter Pipeline, Imperial and BASF were also in attendance. The goal of the workshop was to identify and prioritize government and sector actions to support the movement towards zero plastic waste.

Workshop objectives included:

  • develop a common understanding of the CCME Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste and approach
  • discuss potential government and participant actions, priorities, roles and responsibilities
  • receive feedback from participants on their respective sectors’ readiness to achieve zero plastic waste and how governments can support their efforts to innovate and minimize waste.

The workshop brought together over 150 stakeholders from across the plastics value chain as well as collectors, recyclers and civil society. Discussion was focused on the first five key results areas of the CCME Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste: product design, single-use, collection systems, markets and recycling capacity.

Attendees delivered a series of recommendations to CCME including the need to focus on outcomes and performance rather than being prescriptive. There was also broad agreement that governments have a lot of policy and regulatory levers but it is important to leave room for industry to innovate. These recommendations will be reviewed over the coming days and considered in the action plan which will be delivered to CCME in June. Additional stakeholder consultation will take place via webinar in March. CIAC and its members continue to be actively involved.

For more information, please see the CCME Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste and the CIAC report The role of chemistry in a circular economy for plastics.

Industry, government and consumers all play a key role in the circular economy

CIAC and CPIA sponsor a lively discussion on getting to zero plastic waste

In front of a packed house of approximately 70 people at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa CIAC and CPIA held a lively discussion with the Sixth Estate on Breaking the mold: getting to zero plastic waste on December 11.

CIAC’s Executive Vice President, Isabelle Des Chênes, opened the discussion up by framing the issue and giving a brief presentation on the broad issues at play including the benefits of plastic, Canadians’ perceptions on plastic waste and what industry can do to support solutions. “The public in Canada have been up in arms on this subject and rightly so. As manufacturers of plastic resin and plastics, we need to work with governments to educate the public about plastics’ benefits to society and the environment,” said Des Chênes.

Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe, then spoke about what his organization is doing to raise public awareness of the issue of plastic waste and bringing different stakeholders together to discuss solutions.

The Director of Government Relations at NOVA Chemicals, Ken Faulkner, then outlined the work that manufacturers are doing to tackle this issue, such as innovating to make plastic packaging fully recyclable and working with non-profit partners to improve infrastructure to reduce marine plastic debris in Southeast Asia.

Ryan L’Abbe, Vice President Operations, GreenMantra Technologies, brought the important element of innovation to create end markets for recycled products. He pointed out that due to a lack of supply in Canada, his company actually imports materials from the U.S. to have enough post-consumer plastic to recycle into products like asphalt and roof shingles.

Rounding out the discussion, Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change then spoke on the Federal government’s recent efforts to create a framework for a national strategy of reducing plastic waste and what needs to happen in the near and long-term future to tackle the issue.

Watch a full recording of the panel discussion on the Sixth Estate Facebook Live page here.

CIAC advocates for a circular economy for plastics to Ontario government ahead of ministers’ meeting

Information sharing and collaboration at Alberta Chemistry Day 2018

Exploring solutions to marine litter at the Great Lakes Plastics Forum

CIAC and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association joined Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Rod Phillips, and several environmental NGOs in a day-long information session in Toronto on October 11 to discuss the improper disposal of plastic waste in the Great Lakes.

Discussions centred on the current state of the Great Lakes regarding plastic waste, possible innovations and solutions to enable the circular economy and the need for sound public policy to support these solutions.

“Plastics are in the medical equipment that has probably at one time saved you or a loved one’s life, they keep food fresher longer allowing us to feed the world in a way that was unthinkable just a few generations ago, and they create the sustainable energy that will power our low carbon future. The materials our members produce, however, do not belong in our waterways or environment,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC in his opening remarks.

“Nearly 80 per cent of post-consumer plastics packaging now ends up in landfills. Our industry sees opportunities to triple mechanical recycling rates and to make chemical recycling more mainstream, noting this will take monumental changes to waste management activities in Canada.”

Participants included Pollution Probe, the Clean Water Foundation, the Council of the Great Lakes Region, bottled water company Ice River, ONRamp University of Toronto Entrepreneurship and the Ontario Government.

See the full agenda here.

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