The plastic beverage containers the beverage sector uses are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is a safe, durable, 100% recyclable plastic material. PET is in demand and collected at high rates in well-established recycling programs across the country and is an important plastic in our economy.
In Canada, beverage containers are recycled at an average rate of approximately 75%. While this level surpasses the recycling rates of other plastics found in waste systems, there is room for improvement. While proud of how far it has come, the beverage industry knows it can do better to boost both the recycling rates and the existing recycling programs.
The Canadian Beverage Association and its members are committed to continuing to lead stewardship efforts across the country and are working collaboratively with provinces in their efforts to create Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs. EPR puts the responsibility on producers to financially and/or physically support the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. Currently the CBA is working with provincial governments and industry stakeholders to build efficient and sustainable EPR recycling programs in multiple provinces across the country including Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
The CBA collaboration with government and other stakeholders intends to reach a common goal to enhance the current national average recycling rate of beverage containers and in turn, boost the circular economy.
To support this goal, the CBA continues to establish itself as a strong leader in Canadian stewardship efforts. The CBA is a founding partner in the recently-established Canada Plastics Pact (CPP). As an Implementation Partner, the CBA is uniting with business, government, non-governmental organizations, and other key players in the plastics value chain to keep beverage containers out of the environment and in the circular economy where they belong.
CBA also recently launched the Made to Be Remade campaign, which is focused on raising the profile of the recyclability of PET beverage bottles. Our microsite, www.madetoberemade.ca contains important information about the high recycling rate of PET and the role it plays in a growing circular economy.
While an average 75% recycling rate is a leading industry standard, CBA is working and innovating to increase that rate and keep plastics in the economy, not the landfills.