Recycling Matters

 

In the bottled water sector, the incentive is to reduce the amount of plastic used in bottles, use biodegradable materials, or use recycled plastics. Over the last decade, the industry trend has been to develop and use bottles that are thinner and lighter, using less plastic – the weight of the typical water bottle is about half that of other packaged beverages.

 

Quick Facts

  • A consumer can further reduce the bottles' carbon footprint by 25% by simply recycling it. (Source: Quantis International, February 2010)

 

  • Plastic water bottles are the third most recycled product in Canada, behind newspapers and aluminum.

 

  • When plastic water bottles are recycled, they are used to make palyground equipment, automobile parts, carpeting, fleece clothing, sleeping bags, shoes, luggage, other plastic containers. (Source: Stewardship Ontario)

 

  • Studies show that recycling plastic bottles into new products save 50% to 60% of the energy that would be required to make the same product from raw materials. (Source: The Benefits of Plastic Bottles, Environment and Plastics Industry Council)

 

  • Plastic beverage containers, including plastic water bottles, account for less than one-fifth of 1% of the total waste stream in Ontario and plastic water bottles account for only 40% of that. (Source: Stewardship Ontario)

 

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

PET is one of the most valuable products in the recycling system. PET water bottles are reusable once recycled. Our members' single-serve PET water bottles are 100% recyclable and next to newspapers and aluminum, is the third most recycled product in Canada. Our members strongly support recycling programs and encourage consumers to ensure their bottled water packaging is recycled through their local recycling program.

 

Water bottles are easy to recycle and compatible with curb side, depot and public spaces recycling systems available across Canada. Since Canada's recycling programs are much better than in the United States, any comparison of recycling rates is not accurate. The trend in the industry is to make water bottles with less plastic, and has been a leader in the development of light-weight bottles.

 

Polycarbonate (PC)

Polycarbonate plastic bottles are 100% recyclable. The larger bottles, for use with water coolers, are typically reusable 40 to 60 times before the need to be recycled. For more than 20 years, the bottled water industry has had in place its own industry run recycling program to ensure all large polycarbonate water bottles are properly recycled, ensuring they do not go to Canadian landfills. Once recycled, these plastics are used to make everything from playground equipment, cell phones, clothing, to automobile parts.

 

Recycled PET (rPET)

In recent years, more bottlers are using recycled plastic by blending recycled PET (rPET) with virgin PET. The use of rPET in water bottles can be as much as 100% recycled content. All packaging used by the bottled water industry must be approved by Health Canada under Canada's Food and Drug Regulations.

 

Public Spaces Recycling

The Canadian beverage industry aims to have every one of its containers recycled, regardless of where they are consumed. The industry, in partnership with governments, created Public Spaces Recycling to capture the "last mile" of recyclables - items typically captured through curbside recycling programs that are abandoned by consumers in parks, recreational facilities, transit stops, public schools, businesses, institutions and gas stations.

 

Examples of Public Spaces Recycling include:

 

Quebec - Canada's First Public Spaces Recycling Program

  • Quebec is achieving recycling diversion rates of up to 97% in its municipal away-from-home recycling programs.


Sarnia - Ontario's First Public Spaces Recycling Program

  • The program diverted up to 84% of beverage containers from the waste stream.
  • We are encouraging Ontario to work with the beverage industry to include public spaces recycling as a permanent complement to the Blue Box program.

 

Halifax - Canada's First Public Spaces Recycling Program to Feature Organics Collection

  • The program achieved a recovery rate of 95% for beverage containers and 90% for all recyclable containers.

 

Richmond - B.C.'s First Public Spaces Recycling Program

  • The program achieved a 79% reduction rate in plastic beverage containers headed to landfill.
  • We are encouraging Encorp Pacific to include Public Spaces Recycling as a permanent component to its deposit program.

 

Manitoba - North America's First Permanent Public Spaces Initiative

  • When the Manitoba program was unveiled, the province had about 45% diversion rate for beverage containers - the lowest in Canada.
  • A pilot public spaces program in Portage La Prairie experienced a 95% diversion rate in parks, arenas and streetscapes.
  • The hybrid recycling system, or "Manitoba model," is being monitored for possible adoption by American and European governments.

 

Recycling Stewardship Links

The bottled water industry is certainly doing its part to reduce its impact on the environment. The CBWA and its partners have been working with governments to assist in public spaces recycling programs and to increase all consumer packaging recycling in order to decrease landfill waste, as well as all litter. The various provincial authorities the CBWA and its partners do work with to ensure continued increased recycling rates throughout Canada are listed below:

 

StewardEdge

Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association

Encorp Pacific

Encorp Atlantic

Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation

Eco Enterprises Quebec

Stewardship Ontario

 

 

Provincial & National Recycling Rates

The bottled water industry is certainly doing its part to reduce its impact on the environment. The CBWA and its partners have been working with governments to assist in public spaces recycling programs and to increase all consumer packaging recycling in order to decrease landfill waste, as well as all litter. The various provincial authorities the CBWA and its partners do work with to ensure continued increased recycling rates throughout Canada are listed below:

 

Provincial & National Recycling Rates (2010)

 

All plastic PET beverage containers (under 2 litres)

 

National - 70%

NS - 81%

QC - >70%

ON - 62%

MB - 45% (+50%)

SK - 84%

AB - 83.5%

BC - 80%

 

NOTE on MB: A new program was started, and the 45% does not include the (new) public space recycling data (estimated to add 50% to the recovery rate).

 

Source: StewardEdge

 

 

Recycled Product Links

Cell phones made from recycled water bottles - Fido Green Commercial

Cell phones made from recycled water bottles - Motorola / Fido (CSR Wire)

Cell phones made from recycled water bottles - Motorola (Consumer Reports)

 

Cell phones made from recycled water bottles - Motorola W233 Renew (video)

Construction Materials

Eco Friendly Clothing (Outerwear) Made from Plastic Bottles

Honda Recycling Cans

How Plastic Bottles are Made

Hyundai QarmaQ Recycled Plastic Car - Kelley Blue Book's Interview

Keller Products - Recycled Polycarbonate Plastics

Nissan Recycling water bottles (into seats)

Outdoor Furniture made from recycled water bottles

Picnic Tables

Plastic Lumber - Recycled Post Consumer Plastics

Recycled Outerwear From Water Bottles

Recycling Plastic Water Bottles

Recycling Plastic Bottles into Polyester Yarn on "How It's Made"

Suits made from recycled bottles

 

Publications