Local companies turn recycled plastic into new products

More than one million pounds processed over the last year

MIDWESTERN ONTARIO – Over the course of the last year, four southwestern Ontario clean technology companies – Bluewater Recycling Association (BRA), EFS-plastics Inc., Bluewater Pipe (BWP) and Exi-Plast Custom Moulding – have together recovered over one million pounds of plastic from residential blue box programs in the Bluewater Region.

BRA collected and sorted the household-generated plastic; EFS shredded, cleaned and produced plastic resin pellets; BWP manufactured farm drainage pipes made of 50 per cent post-consumer plastic; and Exi-Plast produced traffic cones made of 100 per cent post-consumer plastic. This collaboration within a small geographic area has reduced each company’s carbon footprint and has generated valuable resources from plastic waste.

While corrugated plastic tubing for agricultural land drainage has utilized recycled content for decades, BWP has been an environmental leader in pushing the levels of local recycled content used.

“With our partners at BRA and EFS, we have produced six million feet of four-inch corrugated piping. This long-term durable application has been used in the Ontario counties where the plastic was originally collected,” said BWP President Tony Kime. “As capacity grows, we believe every corrugated drainage pipe laid in Ontario could be made of 100 per cent post-consumer resin. It can be done, and it should be done.”

BRA is the keystone partner for making this project possible as they are on the frontline of educating the public, collecting the plastic recyclables, and sorting it into a high-yield HDPE commodity bale. BRA President Francis Veilleux acknowledges the hard work of his staff during this difficult year.

“As a recycler providing services to our local communities, it is important that we are able to show our residents where their recyclables end up being used. People are worried that their waste will be exported or will end up in the natural environment; we’re proud to be providing a visible, local solution,” said Veilleux.

With concerns about climate change rising around the world, each company is focused on ways to reduce carbon emissions associated with their operations.

“Although we recycle plastic generated throughout North America, our local suppliers and our local end market are especially important to us,” said Martin Vogt, CEO of EFS-plastics. “By reducing truck miles travelled, we are able to provide a plastic product that not only reduces waste going to landfills, but also reduces greenhouse gasses entering the atmosphere.”

Each of the companies is grateful for the support from the local community, and they are proud to together employ over 250 local residents.

Bluewater Recycling Association, based in Huron Park, is a rural-based non-profit municipal cooperative that provides integrated waste reduction and environmental services ranging from collection and processing to marketing superior quality products and services.

EFS-plastics Inc. in Listowel is a plastics recycler with a focus on producing high-quality 100 per cent post-consumer polyethylene and polypropylene resin from household collected recyclables.

Bluewater Pipe, located in Huron Park, is a Soleno Group Company. They are a manufacturer producing corrugated plastic tubing for agricultural land drainage, road drainage and building drainage. Soleno is a leader in Canada in the plastic recycling industry, manufacturing recycled plastic and manufacturing pipe products using recycled plastic.

Exi-Plast Custom Moulding (Huron Park) is a full-service provider of custom plastic molding services specializing in blow molded solutions for designers, manufacturers, and distributors worldwide.