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Circular plastics – Panel discussion Circular Plastics Taskforce (CPT)

During the PACKEX event held at the Palais de Congrès in Montreal, several panels were presented.

Among these events, I had the honor of moderating the panel of the Circular Plastics session, presented by GAPC - Thisgroup of consumer product manufacturing companies, packaging producers andindustry associations has been working hard for several years to build acircular economy for plastics in Canada.

Build a circular economy for plastics in Canada

A first phase was carried out in 2020 and 2021,which you can read - 1st phase made it possible to formulate 18 recommendations, resulting fromthe study conducted by the Center for Technological Transfer in IndustrialEcology (CTTEI) and the firm Chamard Environmental Strategies (Stratzer).Sustainble STRAT Inc. actively contributed to the realization of this study, asan expert consultant.

The 18 recommandations from GPAC


Rethinking plastic packaging recycling

Value chain

1.   Specify market needs to recyclers and sorting centers and establish clear quality standards for bales;
2.   Establish long-term agreements between members of the value chain to stabilize local markets (supply, outlets, quality, etc.), increase the competitiveness of recycled resin in the long term and encourage investments;
3.   Set up financial incentives for the production of quality plastic bales (price scale according to the level of contamination, government programs, etc.);
4.   Work, in collaboration with Health Canada, to simplify the process for obtaining food grade for post-consumer plastics from curbside collection;
5.   Monitor emerging practices in terms of traceability and support the implementation of a rigorous and harmonized system, particularly in order to be able to certify recycled content;
6.   Set up incentives promoting the increased use of recycled resins (eco-modulation of EPR rates, tax exemptions, procurement policies, etc.);
7.   Promote greater synergy within the value chain and the means of exchange and communication between industry players;
8.   Test the technical and economic feasibility of the secondary sorting of post-consumer plastic bales in order to model the best practices to be put in place (configuration, location, logistics, etc.);
9.   Communicate the limits of current collection, sorting and recycling processes to manufacturers and brand owners in order to promote good eco-design and recyclability practices.

Sorting centers

10. Evaluate, considering geographic, economic and market conditions, the types of plastic bales to be produced by the different sorting centers;
11. Establish real-time quality control of outbound bales, to ensure continued achievement of the quality criteria required by buyers.


12. Explore synergies between recyclers to facilitate greater recovery of packaging rejects in an industrial symbiosis logic;
13. Invest in the development of alternative outlets (chemical recycling, manufacturing of composite materials, energy recovery, etc.) to avoid the landfilling of plastics difficult to recycle as well as the rejects from recyclers.


14. Implement best practices in eco-design and recyclability among brand owners and packaging manufacturers;
15. Increase the rate of recycled content in products placed on the market;
16. Develop innovative business models between market players and other players in the value chain (closed loops, vertical integration, joint ventures, etc.).

Sorting centers/Recyclers

17. Test new sorting technologies (artificial intelligence, optical sorting, robotics, etc.) and improve existing processes to optimize plastic capture and operational performance, while considering the diversity of physical characteristics of the incoming plastic packaging (format, density, colors, etc.).


18. Promote the use of an intermediate resin grade to ensure the use of recycled food grade resins for uses requiring it and dissociate the notion that the recycled food grade is the only guarantee of quality.

Le panel de discussion a exposé à l’audience les résultats de la Phase I et les objectifs de la Phase II en cours de réalisation.

The 3 panelists, Pascale Lachance, director of sustainable development at Danone Canada, Pierre Benabides, expert consultant and coordinator of the GAPC, et Charles David Mathieu-Poulin, directorof sustainable development at Transcontinental, presented their progress, as part of their actions regarding the search for concrete, viable and viable solutions, as for the recovery, recycling and introduction of these plastics in the manufacture of new packaging and containers.

EWhile listening and exchanging with the panelists, as moderator, I noted with great pleasure, the commitment, the interest and the passion of these panelists, in the quest to find the best practices in terms of technologies.

Firstly, to follow the journey of their packaging and containers, from marketing, until the end of the reintroduction of recycled plastics in the new manufacture of these, by traceability.

Secondly, the feasibility and possibility of recognizing and certifying recycled plastics for use in food grade packaging.

A big thank you to the panelists and congratulations to the CPT for their commitment to the circular economy of plastics in Canada!