EDMONTON, AB (March 15, 2023) – The Alberta Plastics Recycling Association’s (APRA) inaugural Alberta Circular Plastics Day attracted over 180 individuals representing organizations across the plastics value chain on March 15. The event was hosted in partnership with NAIT with the focus on addressing key issues and opportunities around development of Alberta’s plastics circular economy.
APRA facilitates partnerships and programs to advance the circular economy across the plastics value chain in Alberta and beyond. To further this work, this one-day conference – the ACPD – brought together stakeholders working in this area in Alberta and across the country.
“The event provided a variety of information sessions on policy, barriers and opportunities in technology and investment as well as highlights from leading organizations operating in Alberta and across the country,” remarked APRA’s executive director Tammy Schwass. “It represented a fantastic networking opportunity to help advance discussions about plastics circularity as part of the Government of Alberta’s Natural Gas Strategy. This industry has tremendous potential to advance environmental and economic benefits in the province.”
The advancement of a circular economy within Alberta will require participation from all levels of stakeholders involved with the common goals to reduce waste, design materials for recycling, explore reuse opportunities and remanufacturing within our borders.
“APRA members are more than just recyclers,” said APRA president Wendy Wright. “APRA members are innovators and environmental stewards. From building facilities to process agricultural plastics that can be remanufactured into new materials to chemical recycling technologies – Alberta’s plastics industry is primed to lead our country in developing a plastics circular economy.”
APRA’s members and partners are already working to advance many circular economic opportunities. Some of the leading sessions at ACPD included:
- design for recyclability from NOVA Chemicals,
- an advanced recycling project from Enerkem and Alberta Innovates,
- unique and innovative recyclers, with features on PolyAg, Styro-Go, Re-Waste, Full Circle Plastics and others,
- advancements in a net zero ethylene complex from Dow Canada,
- block chain technology with an overview from BASF’s reciChain Alberta pilot project,
- collaboration and advocacy with provincial and federal governments and the Canada Plastics Pact on plastics policies,
- reuse and circularity within municipalities, the Cannabis packaging and plastics sectors.
Examples of circular plastics projects happening in Alberta right now can be found on APRA’s website, including a story on agricultural plastics circularity between organizations to collect, recycle and remanufacture plastic back into new agricultural plastic materials. As well as Styro-Go, a leading example of an expanded polystyrene (also known by the brand name Styrofoam) recycling project that tracked the plastic all the way from generation, through recycling and back as a picture frame to the customer, Save-on-Foods.
The Alberta Plastics Recycling Association (APRA) is a not-for-profit organization that facilitates partnerships and programs to advance circularity across the value chain. For 32 years, APRA has been driven by its vision of helping its members capture and recycle plastics and has a renewed focus on developing a sustainable plastics circular economy where post-use plastic stays out of the environment and in the economy. APRA’s membership includes plastics resin manufacturers, fabricators, converters, wholesalers, and retailers of plastic products, along with plastics recyclers and other members of Alberta’s recycling community. The organization has helped to establish plastics recycling initiatives in Alberta for materials including used oil containers, milk containers, agricultural plastics and expanded polystyrene (EPS), among others.
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