New Brunswickers bring used beverage containers to redemption centres for recycling in plastic bags.
Containers are sorted by type to be recycled.
Discarded plastic bags are put in large bulk bags for recycling.
Plastic bags are transformed into plastic pellets.
Plastic pellets are used to make new bags and other products.
MONCTON – JUNE 3, 2019 – The movement to find a solution to the world’s plastic problem has made an important gain in New Brunswick. Encorp Atlantic is proud to announce that it will now collect and recycle all plastic bags used by customers when bringing empty beverage containers to redemption centres in communities across the province.
The new policy, which officially comes into effect this week to celebrate National Environment Week (June 2-8, 2019), will facilitate the recycling of approximately 4 million single-use plastic bags of all sorts per year. Encorp Atlantic is the organization responsible for handling the processing and recycling of all non-alcoholic deposit-bearing beverage containers received by redemption centres in New Brunswick, so it is a natural fit for the organization to start collecting the discarded plastic bags used by redemption centre customers as well, which accumulate in these centres.
“The recycling public needs something to carry empty bottles and cans when dropping them off at a redemption centre for recycling,” explains Encorp Atlantic Director Pierre Landry. “Some people use large cardboard boxes or reusable bags, which we think is ideal, but most – over 90% – opt for the convenience of using plastic garbage bags they have on hand. Redemption centres are left with these bags after emptying their contents and ultimately have to dispose of them.”
Landry says Encorp Atlantic had been searching for years for ways to reduce the environmental footprint of New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program. “We experimented, for example, with giving customers reusable plastic green bins through our re360 pilot project, but plastic bins do not offer the same convenience and carrying capacity as large plastic garbage bags, which can be tied securely and stacked one on top of the other, facilitating transportation. We also looked into the idea of getting customers to use bins or reusable cotton, canvas or polypropylene bags at our pilot project self-serve beverage container drop off depots here in Moncton – Re-Centre and Re-Express. We opted instead for requiring participants to buy and use standard-sized plastic bags designed specifically to hold many containers without ripping. Plastic bags simply perform better: they ensure the bottles and cans remain secure so that we can credit a customer’s account post-visit, prevent leaks, are easier to carry and store, etc.”
Encorp Atlantic will now be able to pick up the discarded plastic bags – of all types and colours – accumulated in redemption centres every week, at the same time as it picks up empty beverage containers to bring to recycling facilities. The collected plastic bags will be sent to Enviroplast, a business specializing in transforming plastic bags into plastic pellets. Enviroplast’s pellets are sold to plastic bag manufacturers to make new bags and related products.
The new plastic bag recycling policy fits in with Encorp Atlantic’s ongoing efforts to help modernize New Brunswick’s Beverage Containers Program, reduce its environmental footprint, and increase recycling in communities across the province. “Encorp Atlantic is pleased to be able to take on this additional leadership role in facilitating even more recycling,” says Landry. “If we cannot get rid of plastic bags going forward as we work with redemption centres and other stakeholders to propose and implement technology and standards to make recycling used beverage containers easier and more convenient for the public, then we certainly have an environmental responsibility to collect and recycle them.”
Pierre Landry – General Manager – Encorp Atlantic
Encorp Atlantic provides used beverage container management services to organizations that distribute deposit-bearing non-alcoholic beverage products in New Brunswick. Encorp Atlantic represents more than 85 non-alcoholic beverage product distributors and is responsible for processing and recycling all non-alcoholic deposit-bearing beverage containers received by redemption centres in the province. Every year, Encorp Atlantic manages more than 160 million post-consumer non-alcoholic beverage containers