Plastics Recycling Update

Report: Canada increased bottle collection in 2021

PET water bottle necks.

Over half (55.5%) of bottles recovered in Canada in 2021 were made of PET. | Tezzstock/Shutterstock

In 2021, Canadian recycling programs collected 201 million kilograms of bottles, marking a large step up from 2018’s numbers.

The 2021 Canada Post-consumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Data Report from consulting company Stina used data from a voluntary annual plastic recycling survey that asked about PET bottles, HDPE bottles, PP bottles and other types of plastic bottles. 

That survey found that 201 million kilograms of post-consumer Canadian bottles were reported recovered, an increase of 3.3 million kilograms over 2018. However, Canadian reclaimers recovered a smaller percentage of those bottles in 2021, the report found. U.S. reclaimers acquired 31.0 million kilograms of Canada-sourced bottles, an increase of 7.4 million kilograms compared with 2018. That’s 15.4% of the overall total going to U.S. reclaimers. 

PET bottles were still the main resin type of the bottles recovered at 55.5%, but it lost some ground to colored HDPE in 2021 compared to 2018. In 2021, 111.6 million kilograms of PET bottles were recovered, a decrease of 4.5 million kilograms over 2018. About 35.6 million kilograms of HDPE natural bottles and 50.5 million kilograms of HDPE colored bottles were recovered, an increase of 4.2 million kilograms and 3.9 million kilograms over 2018, respectively. 

That puts colored HPDE bottles at 25.1% and natural HDPE bottles at 17.7% of the total bottles recovered. 

PP and other resin types made up the remaining 1.6%, or 3.2 million kilograms, of bottles recovered in 2021, marking a decrease of 0.3 million kilograms compared to 2018. 

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