Waste Reduction Week in Canada - Study shows how to optimize the recycling of some materials

TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - What factors affect the end of life of a recyclable container? Why do they sometimes end up in the wrong bale at the sorting centre? Five packaging industry groups in the United States, including the US equivalent of the Carton Council of Canada (CCC), recently commissioned a study to find ways to optimize the recycling of their packaging after it goes into the bin or cart. The study specifically evaluated where packages end up in a sorting facility, why packages flow in certain ways and what potential changes to the sorting processes could improve recycling of recyclable containers, among them carton packaging for milk, juice, soup and other food and beverage products.

The results of the US study are also applicable to Canadian sorting centres, which operate within comparable parameters. "This report is a step in the right direction for understanding how materials react as they pass through sorting centres. Not only could it lead to improvements in the handling of materials in sorting centres, but the data could also have an impact on packaging design," says David Yousif, who is in charge of the recycling facility for the City of Hamilton, Ontario. "Although the study was conducted in the United States, we have reached the same conclusions in Quebec. Our sorting centres operate with similar parameters and the material is the same," says Jean-Sebastien Daigle, Vice President of Operations at La Société VIA.

Canada is already in a good position in terms of collection with the majority of recyclable materials going into recycling bins. The study highlighted the importance of every action along the recycling value chain, particularly the links involving the recycling industry. The study's key findings are highlighted below. To access the complete study report, please click here.

Size and shape have an impact on sorting: don't crush your containers!
Items tend to move better along conveyer belts when they have a similar size and shape. For this reason, citizens participating in curbside recycling should not crush containers before putting them in the recycling bin. Cartons and other containers that keep their shape are more likely to end up in the right bale during sorting. Used cartons are a high-value commodity and can be resold at a higher price and used, for example, in the making of paper products and building materials.

The study also showed that the separation step is critical. By promoting rigorous maintenance of equipment at sorting centres, managers ensure a better capture rate and minimize material loss. Finally, the study confirmed that the use of optical sorters, where appropriate, help to identify material and are playing an increasing role in the sorting of recyclable materials.  

Organizations, such as the CCC, are actively involved in the search for global solutions to increase recycling rates in Canada.

About Carton Council of Canada
The Carton Council is composed of the leading carton manufacturing companies in Canada, including Elopak, Evergreen Packaging, SIG Combibloc and Tetra Pak. Formed in 2010, the Carton Council works to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from disposal. Through a united effort, the Carton Council is committed to raising awareness, promoting best practices and ensuring adequate policy measures with the continual goal to increase carton recycling. For more information, visit www.recyclecartons.ca.


SOURCE Carton Council of Canada

Image with caption: "Logo: Carton Council of Canada (CNW Group/Carton Council of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151023_C4312_PHOTO_EN_527805.jpg

For further information: Source : Isabelle Faucher, Managing Director, Carton Council of Canada; Information: Brigitte Lemay, Consultant, Public Relations, Hill+Knowlton Stratégies, Telephone: 418 425 0973, Cell: 418 953 0223, E-mail: brigitte.lemay@hkstrategies.ca

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