Turning plastics from old car batteries into new ones, developing artificial intelligence to sort plastics for recycling and supporting local micro-recycling facilities are among nine projects being funded under the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund.
The $5 million fund encourages innovative technologies to turn used plastics into new products, support the circular economy for plastics and increase local processing capacity for recycling. The funded projects will replace or recycle over 20,000 tonnes of plastic per year.
The recipients provide at least one-third of eligible costs towards the total cost of the projects, which must be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. 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.
Total funding of $5 million (including $345,000 for administration costs) will support nine projects throughout British Columbia and create almost 100 jobs. The dollar values below represent the provincial funding portion only.
Flipside Plastics – Victoria
Flipside is a startup focused on micro recycling and manufacturing to better manage waste locally. Funding of $50,000 will support the company’s pilot project to gather and process plastic waste and upcycle it into new products for sale on Vancouver Island.
K-C Recycling Ltd. – Trail
Funding of $852,997 will support plant upgrades to process plastic waste casings associated with lead-acid car batteries. The higher value pelletized PCR plastic will be used in B.C. to manufacture new car batteries.
Kootenay Outdoor and Environmental Learning Society – Rossland
The group will receive $14,000 to support processing hard-to-recycle plastics, such as fridge inserts, to produce goods for the local ski community. This is a non-profit society that also plans an education and demonstration centre to showcase circular solutions for small communities.
Merlin Plastics – Delta
Merlin will use $1,560,000 to upgrade equipment to increase the supply of PCR plastic to be used as feedstock in new food-grade packaging by increasing the capacity to process recycled polyethylene and improving the quality of polypropylene.
Metaspectral – Vancouver
Funding of $307,533 will be used to develop computer vision, artificial intelligence and robotics to sort consumer waste, increase efficiency in processing materials and improve the quality of PCR plastic.
Plascon Plastics Corporation – Delta
Plascon will use $600,000 to manufacture the first child-safe cannabis container made from 100% PCR plastic, by combining its experience making PCR injection-moulded products with its manufacturing of child-safe products out of virgin materials.
Reclaim Plastics – Burnaby
The company specializes in recycling and remanufacturing plastic bumper covers for automobiles. The $667,000 in support will help scale up operations and allow it to recycle other automotive plastics that have not been abstracted to date.
Recycling Alternative – Vancouver
Recycling Alternatives has a highly localized urban solution for processing PCR plastic in Vancouver and reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting waste. This funding of $563,470 will increase its capacity to both sort and process plastic, enabling the creation of more high-quality PCR plastic to be used in local manufacturing.
The Rogerie – Kelowna
The Rogerie will use its $40,000 to take high-density polyethylene plastic jugs from zero-waste stores and recycling them into moulded products that the zero-waste stores will then sell. This will provide an opportunity to address waste locally, with the potential to scale up to multiple micro-recycling facilities in B.C. and Canada.
“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.”