When plastic film, or plastic bags and overwrap, is collected with other materials at the curb or in multi-family recycling collection, pieces of the other recyclables—printed papers, paper packaging and aluminum, steel, and rigid plastic containers —mix with the plastic film. Once these materials are mixed together, it is difficult to completely separate the other recyclables from the plastic film to meet the standards of North American recycling markets. When Recycle BC developed its Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Plan, we carefully considered the available markets for packaging and paper. As a result of this assessment, Recycle BC made two decisions about how it would handle plastic film in its collection system so that the plastic film would meet North American recycling market specifications.
The changes implemented by Recycle BC are intended to:
Recycle BC has been working to educate depot collectors and residents on the types of recyclable film that are accepted and the types of unrecyclable film that are not accepted to ensure that the plastic film that is collected can meet market specifications and be effectively recycled.