The Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer will feature benches made by Alberta-based Full Circle Plastics with funding from the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association (APRA) and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA). The company uses 100% post-consumer plastic that has been collected from communities across Alberta to make plastic lumber.  This lumber was then used to fulfill a unique design and seating for the Plaza that will serve Red Deer citizens for many years to come.

The benches, designed by Stantec and Full Circle Plastics, include a concrete base with lights at the back to help create a welcoming and friendly space at all times of the day.  The recycled-plastic boards are mounted on brushed aluminum.

“This plastic is very durable, will last decades longer than traditional wood or concrete products and at the end of its life as a bench, it can be recycled into new plastic lumber products,” remarked Full Circle Plastics owner Jonathan Beekman. “We are pleased to provide these benches to the Games and showcase just one of the many products our business has to offer.”

Jonathan Beekman, Full Circle Plastics and Tammy Schwass, APRA

As an entrepreneur, Jonathan has a vision to create sustainable products that solve problems. The company produces fence posts, picnic tables and park benches along with items to meet municipal needs such as parking curbs and plastic lumber. They are currently shipping orders to the United States and across Canada. Jonathan and his business were recognized in the Lethbridge community in the spring of 2018 with the Chinook Entrepreneurs Challenge.

“Organizations across the province of Alberta are challenging the norm by creating sustainable and innovative recycling capabilities,” remarked Tammy Schwass, the Executive Director of APRA. “We wanted to make a contribution to the Games that would tell a story about the benefits of using recycled plastic and these benches will be used in the community for many years to come.”

CPIA and APRA recognize that public awareness about recycling is important.

“The Canada Winter Games is an exciting event that brings together thousands of people from across the country and garners international attention,” stated Joe Hruska, CPIA’s Vice President of Sustainability. “We have an opportunity to engage with the athletes, families, guests and community members about the role plastics plays in our lives and the responsible management of the material, making sure it stays out of the environment, and telling the stories about how plastics can be used to create new products like these benches in the new plastics circular economy.”

Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza, located at 5121 48 Ave, will open to the public on February 13 with the Plaza Grand Opening at 10:30 am. The Plaza will create the space, capacity and infrastructure for future major arts and cultural festivals in Red Deer. The community has already hosted memorable events like the Red Deer is Ready Rally, Memorial Cup parade, Red Deer Lights the Night, Centrefest, Tour of Alberta, Fiestaval and more. The Celebration Plaza allows Red Deer to create more community-focused events and build a stronger central Alberta.

“The decision to partner with the City of Red Deer and the Red Deer Public School Board to revitalize Central Elementary School as a sustainable community legacy was an exciting opportunity for the 2019 Games. The Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza creates a celebration space in the heart of the city and will serve as the home of the 52° North Music and Cultural Festival,” said Scott Robinson, CEO of the 2019 Games. “This revitalization project aligns with our legacy principle and our sustainability partnership with NOVA Chemicals, member of CPIA and a proud supporter of APRA, to choose permanent over temporary projects where possible.”  

About the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association  

Celebrating its 28th year, the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association (APRA) is an Alberta not-for-profit association that has been dedicated to sustainable plastics recycling and minimizing plastic waste in the landfill. The Association is committed to the hierarchy of the 4Rs – Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, and Recover. APRA facilitates the development of sustainable programs to effectively manage plastics waste and acts as a resource to interest groups including individuals, governments and companies. Visit to learn more.

About the Canadian Plastics Industry Association

Since 1943, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association has proudly served as the national voice for and leader in plastics industry sustainability across Canada, representing the interests of the plastics value chain including resin and raw material suppliers, processors/converters, equipment suppliers, recyclers and brand owners. Visit to learn more.

About the Canada Winter Games

From February 15 until March 3, 2019, the eyes of the nation are on Red Deer, Alberta as we host the 2019 Canada Winter Games – the largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in Canada and the largest event to be hosted in Red Deer’s history. Featuring over 150 events in 19 sports and a major arts and cultural festival, the 2019 Canada Winter Games welcomes up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 100,000 spectators, with a significant forecasted economic impact. The 27th edition of the Canada Games, the 2019 Games is set to provide a stage for Canada’s next generation of national, international and Olympic champions to compete and leaves a legacy for athletic and leadership greatness in Red Deer and central Alberta. This is our moment.

About Full Circle Plastics

Full Circle Plastics Ltd. operates in Alberta and uses 100% post consumer plastic that has been collected from communities within the province. This plastic mixture, which consists of Plastics #1-7 (including plastic such as yogurt containers and post-consumer packaging along with used paint pails) is sorted, shredded and ground for the extrusion process. This plastic is then fed through a feed screw where it is melted and forced into a mold to be shaped as it cools. Our process allows the use of plastics that have not been additionally cleaned and dried and have less impact on the environment by using less power and water.  This results in a product made from 100% recycled materials that do not degrade and are able to be recycled again through this process. Visit to learn more.