The Recycling of PET Clamshells

by Todd McDonald on October 10, 2012

While those of us who live in the US often poke a little fun at our northern neighbors, when you look at the facts, Canada really does have it all: hockey, reindeer, Mounties, maple syrup and now, a more robust recycling program.

In fact, according to the recent Plastics News article, Toronto’s Blue Bin recycling program to accept PET clamshells, Toronto recently joined the list as Canada’s third city to add clear PET clamshell containers and all mixed rigid plastics, like egg cartons and bakery trays, to its Blue Bin recycling program.

After seeing the success of these programs in Ottawa and Calgary, a yearlong pilot tested the viability of this recycling concept at Dufferin Material Recovery Facility, a site that currently handles half of the city’s recycling.

In the past, similar attempts proved challenging, because the packaging was made from multiple resins that the existing technology cannot sort efficiently. It was the Canadian Grocers Initiative, which standardized PET as the mainstream clamshell plastic of choice, which allowed for easier sorting.

Additionally, a spokesman for the city’s waste management added that “the program had to be held back until the city could find a buyer for the recycled products,” because, “people would go crazy if we sorted plastic and then put them back in the landfill.” We’re happy to see that Toronto has found a buyer for its products and that support for this initiative is so strong that construction has already begun on a new facility to take over the sorting. We’re looking forward to hearing more about RPET products coming out of Canada as these measures continue to expand.

Back at home in the USA, we couldn’t be happier to hear this news from our northern neighbors.

Here at TEQ, we not only strive to create sustainable products but we are also committed to help avoid sending recyclable plastics to an early death in landfills. Take for example, our TEQethylene monopolymer sterile barrier solution – which overcomes one of the most common obstacles to hospital recycling – the fact that the staff simply doesn’t have the time or interest in separating lids and trays for recycling.  Combine this type of product development with careful management of our supply chains to ensure the scraps from our manufacturing plants are collected and reused in future products –  we are constantly working towards having the smallest carbon footprint possible.

What are some strategies your city has adopted to bolster recycling and push for a more sustainable society?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: