Potato chip bags, plastic pouches now accepted in new Recycle B.C. program

Program starts in June across 116 depots in B.C., to expand everywhere in province by 2019

Just in time for the summer barbecue season, Recycle B.C. has launched a new collection process for potato chip bags and additional flexible plastic packaging that can often be the hardest materials to recycle and ending up in landfills.

The new program is now implemented at 116 depots across the province. People can bring stand-up pouches, potato chip bags, zip lock bag and mesh bags used for produce to selected depots. This does not include curbside pickup.

Allen Langdon, managing director of Recycle B.C. said the project will help the organization determine how best to recycle the materials, which are among the fastest growing packaging on the market.

Due to the combined materials involved in the manufacturing of the various bags, it can be challenging to break down.

“Each day, we move closer toward our ultimate goal of collecting all types of packaging,” Langdon said.

The program expansion is being rolled out in three phases, with the first round of depots beginning collection in June, followed by additional depots voluntarily beginning collection in September. By 2019, all Recycle BC depots in the province are expected to collect this type of packaging.

Examples of accepted materials:

Stand-up and Zipper Lock Pouches

  • Zipper lock pouches for frozen foods like prawns, berries and prepared food
  • Zipper lock bags for fresh foods like grapes, berries and deli meat
  • Stand-up pouches for baby food and hand soap refills
  • Stand-up and zipper lock pouches for items like dried fruits, granola, sugar, oatmeal, quinoa, dish detergent pods and grated cheese

Crinkly Wrappers and Bags

  • Bags for potato chips, candy, dried pasta, coffee and cereal
  • Cellophane for flowers and gift baskets
  • Wrappers for cheese slices, snack bars and instant noodles
  • Flexible Packaging with Plastic Seal
  • Packaging for fresh pasta, pre-packaged deli meats and pre-packaged cheese

Woven and Net Plastic Bags

  • Net bags for avocados, onions, oranges, lemons and limes
  • Woven plastic bags for rice

Non-food Protective Packaging

  • Padded protective plastic like plastic shipping envelopes, plastic air packets and bubble wrap
  • Examples of materials that will not be part of the expanded program:
  • Plastic Squeeze Tubes
  • Plastic-lined Paper
  • Paper-lined Plastic
  • Plastic Strapping
  • 6-pack Rings
  • Biodegradable or Oxo Plastic
  • PVC/Vinyl

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