West Coast report + Plastics Special
TRENDS & UPDATES
71recyclinginternational.com | July/August | 2019
CASH BOOST FOR PLASTIC AND TEXTILE RECY-
Innovators are being urged to bid for UK Government grants
that could result in smarter recycling of textiles and plastic
The grants, managed by the charity WRAP, are part of a £18 million
(EUR 20 million) ‘resource action find’ launched by the environment
department in May with the aim of increasing reprocessing infra-
Applicants are able to apply for grants of between £200 000 and
£1m for initiatives dealing with packaging and textiles up to a total
of £4.7m. Specifically, the plastics grant will support the recycling of
plastic packaging such as pots, tubs and trays, and films and pouch-
‘Public alarm’ Peter Maddox, director at WRAP, announced the
grants at the national Resourcing the Future conference in London.
He said: ‘There is a growing public alarm about the impact of plas-
tic and textiles on our planet. To really tackle this, we have to shift
from the prevailing “make, use and dispose” culture to a more sus-
tainable one in which we keep resources in use as many times as
human ingenuity can conceive.
‘Modernisation is key to making this happen and I am delighted
that this significant amount of money is being made available to
unlock and enable that process. I’m really excited to see what the
applicants will bring to the table.’
CANADA: NO MORE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS,
Less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. That’s
why the country’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced
a ban on certain single-use plastic products by 2021.
Every year, Canadians throw away over three million tonnes of
plastic which represents up to C$ 8 billion (EUR 5.3 billion) in
lost value as well as wasting valuable resources and energy. The
ban applies to items such as bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and
stir sticks. Up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year in
Canada, while close to 57 million straws are used daily.
‘Without a change of course, Canadians will throw away an esti-
mated C$ 11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by
2030,’ says Trudeau. He calls it a ‘defining moment’ and says
pollution caused by plastic waste is ‘a problem we simply can’t
afford to ignore’.
Besides phasing out single-use plastics, the Government is tak-
ing steps to further reduce plastic waste. These include promot-
ing the use of affordable and safe alternatives as well as sup-
porting innovation. To achieve the goals, governments and
businesses across Canada will have to work closely together.
According to Trudeau, the government will introduce standards
and targets for companies that manufacture plastic products or
sell items with plastic packaging so they become responsible
for their own plastic waste. Measures will be based on scientific
evidence and will align, where appropriate, with similar actions
by other nations.
Improved plastic waste management and investment in innova-
tive solutions are expected to reduce carbon pollution by 1.8
million tonnes while generating billions of dollars in revenue
and creating 42 000 jobs.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world and is home to
one-quarter of the world’s fresh water. ‘Canadians know first-
hand the impacts of plastic pollution and are tired of seeing
their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic
waste,’ Trudeau points out.
He says around 650 000 tonnes of abandoned, lost or discarded
fishing gear enters Canada’s oceans annually and this material
can stay intact for up to 600 years. Trudeau concludes: ‘We
have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic
pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow
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