As of January 1st, China has banned certain plastic and paper recycling imports which could put a strain on efforts in Alberta and across the country.
While we do collect and sort most plastics and paper, Alberta and other parts of Canada lack capabilities to produce high quality materials that are marketable around the world.
Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Alberta, Christina Seidel says we could sell recyclables easily, if we could just sort it better.
“If we did a better job of separating our materials we can market most of it here in Canada we have some very good recyclers here in Canada. So, at the end of the day, really it’s a question of, we have to be able to meet the standards, whether it’s local standards or international standards,” said Seidel.
She adds, other provinces have certain rules that we should adopt here in Alberta.
“The producer of the material is ultimately responsible for making sure that material is properly managed at the end of its life and they are the ones that are in the best positions to be able to make sure that those materials are produced in a manner that is marketable.”
Seidel says Canada only has a few machines that can filter out bad recyclables and keep high quality materials. She adds, there’s no assistance from the provincial government to help municipalities deal with this new burden.