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Turning used plastic into new opportunity

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:47 PDT, Wed June 2, 2021

Last Updated: 12:47 PDT, Wed June 2, 2021

CleanBC Plastics Action Fund supports recycling initiatives

With global plastics recycling generating upwards of $75 billion a year, the province continues to invest in turning plastics into new opportunities.

Already, the province captures 315,000 tonnes of plastics annually. Now it is investing $5 million that encourages innovative technologies to turn used plastics into new products, support the circular economy for plastics and increase local processing capacity for recycling and create new jobs. The funded projects will replace or recycle over 20,000 tonnes of plastic per year.

"These projects show what British Columbians can accomplish when their great ideas and enthusiasm are supported by a government that's serious about tackling plastic waste and reducing pollution of our land and ocean," said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The recipients provide at least one-third of eligible costs towards the total cost of the projects, which must be completed by Dec. 31. Projects were chosen based on their ability to increase processing capacity, increase the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in manufacturing or support PCR plastic product research, design and testing.

"The circular economy in B.C. shows great promise for economic recovery, reducing emissions and recycling plastics into new products," said Jill Doucette, executive director, Synergy Foundation, a Victoria-based non-profit that supports the administration of the fund. "In B.C., we have incredible industry leaders in plastic recycling, and this support will help take their efforts to the next level."

The funding is an important part of the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan and its goal to address plastic waste. The initiative is also part of B.C.'s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC: BC's Economic Recovery Plan to protect people's health and livelihoods, while supporting businesses and communities.

"The response to the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan shows the vision and scope of British Columbia companies that are using technology in new ways to help make life better for all of us," said Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Technology. "From using artificial intelligence to sort used plastic more efficiently, to 3D printing new products out of old plastic - these companies are creating jobs and improving our environment."

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