Recent Reports & Resources

Recent Reports & Resources

When it comes to embracing environmentally friendly technologies, recycling may not be as exciting as solar panels or hybrid cars, but it’s one area where consumers can make a huge difference.

Through municipal recycling programs, specific types of post-consumer plastics are collected, processed for recycling, and used to create an array of second-generation products – everything from fleece jackets and bottles for beverages and detergents to carpeting and even high-end composite lumber for outdoor decking.

There have been many recent announcements on plastics including building a circular economy for plastics, improved recycling through extended producer responsibility (EPR), single-use reduction and many other topics. The following reports are some of the latest updates on the state of the recycling industry.

Alberta Innovates has funding for clean tech start ups. View this page for more information on their continuous application process and stay tuned for open calls for applications.

Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund

The Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund deploys catalytic financing into sustainable technologies, organizations and projects that advance the recovery and recycling of plastics in the U.S. and Canada.

They deploy flexible financing alternatives to capitalize post-pilot scale projects that advance collection, infrastructure, sortation capabilities, enabling technologies and re-manufacturing of polyethelyene and polypropylene plastics. 

The Global Commitment 2022 Progress Report

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation with input from the UN Environment Program, explains the report focus: Driven by the goal of tackling plastic pollution at its source, through the Global Commitment and Plastic Pact network more than 1,000 businesses, governments, and other organisations have united behind a common vision of a circular economy for plastic, in which it never becomes waste. Signatories to the Global Commitment, which together account for more than 20% of the plastic packaging market, have set ambitious 2025 targets to help realise that common vision. This fourth annual progress report looks at how the signatories are faring against these targets. 

CCME – Roadmap to Strengthen the Management of Single-use and Disposable Plastics 

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) released A Roadmap to Strengthen the Management of Single-use and Disposable Plastics (the roadmap) as part of the continued implementation of the Canada-wide Action Plan on Zero Plastic Waste. The roadmap includes best practices and voluntary actions that will guide governments to better manage plastic items that are most commonly found littering neighbourhoods, parks and natural landscapes.

 Our Starting Gate – CPP’s 2020 Baseline Report

In July of 2022, the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP) released a baseline report on CPP Partners work to reduce plastics. “The Canada Plastics Pact’s 2020 Baseline Report provides data points that show that, while many of our CPP Partners are actively working to tackle the issues around plastics waste and pollution, we are just at the beginning of supporting the system-wide changes we’ll need to see to support the circular plastics economy of the future. There were good examples of leadership and collaboration underway in Canada, but many of the efforts were fragmented and lacked scale,” says Paul Shorthouse, Interim Managing Director at the Canada Plastics Pact. “While there is a lot of work still to be done, I’m excited about the opportunities in front of us and having this baseline to help measure our progress towards CPP’s 2025 targets and beyond is a critical first step.”

Advanced Recycling White paper: Seizing the Circular Plastics Opportunity

In April 2022, the CIAC released a whitepaper on advanced recycling. “Many Canadian companies are leading the way on research into advanced recycling. These new technologies transform plastic products back into their basic molecules, allowing the production of new resins, pellets, and plastic products that will continuously recirculate in the economy. Investing in plastics recycling infrastructure and technology will increase the availability and use of recycled plastics in products. Given recycled plastic resins have a lower environmental footprint than virgin resins, it will also increase the availability of made-in-Canada low-carbon products, providing an important trade advantage.”

The Canada Plastic Pact’s Foundational Research and Study on Canadian Plastic Packaging Flows

The objective was to review the quantity of plastic packaging generated across Canada and to understand how the plastic packaging is being managed. The report provides a system-level view as an anchor point for CPP as it takes steps to meet its targets. The report also provides an overview of factors currently influencing the Canadian plastics packaging landscape, identifies potential solutions, and suggests where focus is necessary to achieve CPP’s goals.
Follow this link to the bottom of the page “Foundational Report

Alberta Collaborative Extended Producer Responsibility (ACES) Study – released March 11, 2020

The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, along with the Cities of Edmonton and Calgary, producer representatives, and the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance, released their “Extended Producer Responsibility for Residential Packaging and Paper Products: Alberta Collaborative Extended Producer Responsibility Study.” The study confirms that a made-in-Alberta solution to EPR for packaging and paper products would bring substantial and immediate benefits to Albertans.

The benefits expected from a made-in-Alberta solution to EPR for packaging and paper products include:

  • Reduce the recycling collection services costs that municipalities charge their residents each year by up to $105 million; this is Albertans’ money and it can be reinvested in other municipal services or provided as a cost saving to municipal residents
  • Add $16 million to the Alberta economy every year
  • Gain approximately 220 new jobs in Alberta’s recycling industry
  • Recycle an additional 21,000 tonnes of packaging and paper products each year
  • Reduce CO2 emissions by 72,000 tonnes each year – the equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from the road annually
  • Increase recycling opportunities for rural Alberta and people who live in multi-dwelling residences
  • Make recycling more convenient for Albertans by collecting the same materials province-wide
  • Incentivize industry to design products that are more efficient to collect and recycle
  • Incentivize industry to invest in recycling innovations and infrastructure

CCME Canada-Wide Action Plan on Zero Plastics Waste – released June 26, 2019

The report delves into areas of focus over the next few months to a few years down the road to make changes in how we use and manage plastics. Six areas of focus include:

  • facilitate consistent Extended Producer Responsibility programs;
  • address priority single-use and disposable products;
  • national performance requirements and standards;
  • incentives for a circular economy, infrastructure and innovation investments; and
  • public procurement and green operations.

Economic Study of the Canadian Plastics Industry, Markets and Waste: Summary Report

The report delves into areas of focus over the next few months to a few years down the road to make changes in how we use and manage plastics. Six areas of focus include:

  • Raw material production
  • Plastics products manufacturing
  • End use in key sectors
  • Analysis of end-of-life

Report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development: The Last Straw: Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution in Canada – Released June 2019

A number of recommendations:

  • There is a need for coordinated action
  • Plastic toxicity should be assessed through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
  • Standardization is key to increasing plastic recycling
  • Fostering recycling
  • Funding is required to foster innovation to modernize recycling
  • Canadians need better information to be fully engaged
  • The Federal Government can set an example through its procurement

Smart Prosperity Institute – A vision for a circular economy for plastics in Canada 



Canadian Plastics Recycling Reports