Plastics Recycling Update

Flexible film recycling project debuts in Canada

PRFLEX will employ consulting firms to first gather data on film recycling, then propose solutions to improve collection and get more recycled film into packaging. | Courtesy of PRFLEX

A number of circularity organizations have collaborated to launch PRFLEX, an effort to improve flexible plastic recycling in Canada. 

A press release noted that the organizations behind PRFLEX share a common goal of increasing the use of recycled content in plastic packaging, and “for that to happen, we need improved sortation and recycling capacities in Canada.” 

Those organizations are The Canada Plastics Pact, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Circular Materials, the Circular Plastics Taskforce, Éco Entreprises Québec and The Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition of the The Recycling Partnership, all of which are looking to collect baseline data on film recycling and improve collection rates. 

“This first-of-its-kind initiative represents a stepping stone towards that objective by way of assessing the current situation and designing high performing systems for films and flexibles across the country,” the PRFLEX leadership team said in the press release. “We look forward to working together to increase recycling rates and advance a circular economy in Canada.”

Consulting firms NovAxia and Lichens Recyclability will help PRFLEX gather baseline data on what percentage of flexible plastic packaging is currently being collected and recycled in each province, broken down by format and type, then identify infrastructure gaps at materials recovery facilities. The project will propose new technologies and processes to increase capture rates and improve sorting, then test those ideas in partner facilities.

The Circular Plastics Taskforce has also been trying out Digimarc Recycle’s digital watermark technology for sorting flexible plastic packaging. 

Lessons learned from the project will also be shared with U.S. partners, the press release noted. 

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