Canada should recycle or compost half of plastic packaging by 2025

24 January 2024 15:56


Ottawa - Canada currently recycles a fifth of the nearly 1 million tonnes of plastic packaging used in the country. In their newly released 2022 Annual Report, advocates at the Canada Plastic Pact said they were optimistic that their country can do more to reuse, recycle, or compost more plastic in the coming years.

Canada is gradually developing a circular economy in plastic. The North American country recycled 20 percent of the 978,743 tonnes of plastic packaging it produced in 2022, according to the Canada Plastic Pact’s 2022 Annual Report. That was an 8 percentage points increase compared to 2019. Recycling of flexible plastic packaging increased from 1 percent to 4 percent from 2019 through 2022.

The Canada Plastic Pact is an advocacy group promoting reusing and recycling plastics to reduce pollution, improve public health, and curb greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The pact is affiliated with Natural Step Canada, a nonprofit charity.

While Canada must work harder to develop a circular economy in plastic, the Pact’s efforts are gaining momentum, said Canada Plastics Pact Managing Director Cher Mereweather in a press release issued January 9. Signatories to the Pact, for example, increased by around a third in 2022 compared to two years earlier.

“Despite what may seem like slow progress, each small victory highlighted in the 2022 Annual Report is a stepping stone, building upon our foundational groundwork,” said Mereweather. “The reality is that the plastic waste crisis isn’t a challenge the industry can solve within a few years – but the compound effect of our efforts suggests we are gaining momentum.”

The Pact’s report suggests several ways to make sure that all Canadian plastic packaging is designed for reuse, recycling, or composting by 2025. By then, unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging should be eliminated by then, while at least half of all plastic packaging should be effectively recycled or composted.

“We’ve learned a lot these past few years at the CPP and now we’re working to translate those learnings into actionable initiatives,” said Canada Plastics Pact President Catherine O’Brien, who is also senior vice president of corporate affairs at Nestlé Canada. ce/jd

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