Recycle BC is teaming up with More Recycling, a consulting firm focused on increasing recovery of plastics, to launch a pilot program in Coquitlam that will determine if plastic squeeze tubes – such as face wash, moisturizer and toothpaste tubes – can be effectively collected for recycling.
Plastic squeeze tubes are not currently accepted for recycling in Recycle BC’s recycling program nor most other recycling programs in North America. The pilot seeks to better understand what will enter the recycling system when residents are asked to include plastic squeeze tubes in their recycling. The information gathered will help inform if plastic squeeze tubes can be collected for recycling in future.
“Consumer behaviour is increasingly showing us that people want to recycle,” said Allen Langdon, Managing Director of Recycle BC. “Coquitlam residents have shown they are active recyclers. This was the perfect community for testing this project, and we are excited to take this next step toward the possibility of bringing more recycling options to the province.”
In the coming weeks, residents will receive a pink bag for their plastic squeeze tubes, which can then be filled, sealed and placed into the blue box for curbside pickup until July 31, 2018.
While related research and studies have been conducted in the United States to explore the feasibility of accepting plastic squeeze tubes for recycling, this is the first time where residents are receiving specific direction to recycle plastic squeeze tubes and are provided with a special collection bag for curbside recycling.
TIPS FOR PILOT PROJECT PARTICIPANTS
Coquitlam residents who receive curbside recycling services from Recycle BC will receive the pink bag directly at their home by mail in mid-May. To help with this important study, we are asking residents to:
- Recycle empty plastic squeeze tubes, with caps on, in the pink plastic bag provided
- Seal bag once full or by July 31 and place the pink bag in the blue box for collection
If residents don’t fill their bag with empty plastic squeeze tubes by July 31, they can still recycle any tubes collected by placing the sealed pink bag in their blue box at this time, regardless of how full it is. If residents fill their pink bag before July 31, they can request another bag to continue plastic squeeze tube collection and recycling until the end of July. Residents can visit RecycleBC.ca/Tubes for more information.
The pilot follows nearly eight months of baseline data collection, where audit samples of materials were collected from within the province to determine how many tubes were incorrectly being placed in the blue bin for recycling.