October, 2019

Newsflash message forwarded from Recycle BC

Over the weekend, CBC’s Marketplace aired a story exposing challenges related to plastics recycling in British Columbia. As part of the story, Marketplace executed one-time, business-to-business transactions with three waste management companies for the recycling of bales of soft plastics. The companies and outcomes were:

  • Merlin Plastics – outcome: recycled the material
  • Green for Life (GFL) – outcome: waste-to-energy
  • Waste Connections Canada – outcome: landfill.

The reporter suggested throughout the story that these were a proxy for how materials are handled in BC’s residential recycling system.

We were pleased to see that Recycle BC’s end market for plastics recycled the materials it received from the media. Recycle BC sends 99% of the plastic it collects to Merlin Plastics in Canada. Less than 1% of the plastic we collect is shipped to Malaysia in the form of densified polystyrene, and this constitutes only a portion of the foam we collect. We have personally visited this company to verify its end use. This foam is used in picture frames.

Recycle BC has submitted an official response to the Marketplace story and has posted this response to its website as well. We also invite you to share the response with your stakeholders as you see fit.