Keep our recycling free from plastic bags

Chinese market places new restrictions on recycled plastics.

Dear editor,

Local governments, in their efforts to reduce the amount of material going into the landfill, have for several years been recycling items made of plastic. This effort has often been challenging as the demand for recycled plastic can be low.

Recently the market in China, which is a significant portion of the demand for recycled plastic, has placed new restrictions on what material they will accept. These new restrictions include a ban on plastic film. Plastic is most often encountered by the public in the form of bags. The end result is a load of recycled plastics will not be accepted anywhere if it contains any plastic bags within it. You can find out more by Googling ‘Green Fence China Recycling’.

For health and safety concerns plus operation practicality, Seven Mile Landfill and Recycling Centre staff cannot try and pick out bags from a load of recycled plastic.  If bags are found in a load, the load must be landfilled. We have advised North Island recycling depots of this decision and attendants will work with the public to eliminate this type of contamination but we need the cooperation of all members of the public if we are to continue plastic recycling.

All is not gloom and doom though. Starting in May 2014, the new Multi Material BC recycling program for packaging and printed paper will start. This program will accept most types of plastic containers and films though some separation is required. In addition, materials such as glass and polystyrene will also be recycled which is a new opportunity for North Islanders. As we get closer to the program`s start, your local government will be communicating with its residents. If anyone has any questions regarding the above, please contact me at the Regional District office at your convenience or ask the staff at your local recycling depot.

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/why-china-isnt-taking-american-trash-anymore/19420

Patrick Donaghy

Operations Manager, Regional District Mount Waddington