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    Plastic Bags

    Myths: Fact or Fiction

    Degrade in Landfill Myth

    The Single Use Myth


    Paper vs. Plastic Bags

    Paper vs. Plastic Studies

    Reusables Greener?

    Types of Bags

    Litter: The Facts
    Public Health

    Canada Update

    Bags Around the World

    The Oil Myth

    Made in Canada
    Ireland's Bag Tax

    Plastic Bag Recycling

    Fiction: Plastic bags are not recycled, or have very low recycling rates in Canada.

    Fact: No. Canada has a national network of plastic bag recyclers and recycling rates are high and growing as recycling expands. 

    The Facts

    • The recycling of plastic shopping bags that have not been reused for household and pet waste or for organics collection (40-60% of the bags) is very popular in Canada. Recycling rates are high:  32% in B.C, 32% in Alberta, 36% in Ontario and as high as 50% in some provinces in Atlantic Canada.1 
    • The bags are recycled and remanufactured, locally, extending the life of the resource and creating valuable green manufacturing jobs.  

    • The bags are recycled through a national network of recyclers into new bags, outdoor furniture, office supplies, water pipes, plastic lumber, and garden supplies.

    More Detail

    Recycling rates are high and growing

    Canada Plastic Bag Recycling Rates
    Sources: End Market Statistics, NS & ON MOE Data, Recycling Council Input

     There is a national network of bag recyclers coast to coast

    plastic bag recycling Canada

    There are many successful recycling systems in Canada

    Toronto recycling?????????? Toronto plastic bag recycling?

    Canadians are Innovators in Recycling Technologies

    plastic bag jobs for Ontarians?????????????? plastic bag jobs for Ontarians

    Recycled Products are Made in Canada

    Plastic Muskoka Chairsproducts made from recycled plastic bagsproducts made from recycled plastic bags

    Reusable Bags are not Recyclable in Canada

    Le Journal de Montreal, January 2011:

    “In ecological jargon, we say that a product is considered green when it complies with the three “R’s”.

    • Reduce
    • Reuse
    • Recycle

    Reusable bags meet the first two criteria, because of the quantity of bags used, and of course, because they are reusable...but not the third, because in practice most of them are not recyclable. The bags they replace do not meet the first criterion, but partially the second (they often have other uses such as garbage bags) and can be recycled.”

    Plastic Shopping Bags are Used to Recycle Organics in Toronto


    1  End markets. NS & ON MOE, Recycling Councils
    2   Decima Research, 2005



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