With this week being one for recycling collection in Martensville, residents are reminded that as of April 1st, Loraas is no longer accepting plastic film as a recyclable material. This includes plastic bags, plastic wrap, sandwich bags, plastic food packaging, etc. According to the City of Saskatoon Recycling Market FAQ, “a simple rule of thumb is if it stretches, it is plastic film.” Items that are now restricted are often marked HDPE (2) or LDPE (4).
Saskatoon City Council voted in February that both Loraas and Cosmopolitan Industries remove the plastic film from their recycling programs. The City of Saskatoon noted that the removal of plastic film from the recycling programs will help to improve the quality of recyclables collected and will also help to ensure recoverable paper and cardboard can get to market. This change is based on the fact that China purchases approximately two-thirds of North America’s recyclables made changes to their standard which prohibits the importation of recycled paper that has a high contamination of plastic film. With this change being implemented this past January, it has made an impact on how much of the recycling sold out of Saskatoon can be moved, and the demand for higher quality recyclables has led to a large portion of items unable to be sold. As of the April 1st change to acceptable recyclables, plastic film is now considered contamination. It is recommended that residents do their part to decrease the use of plastic bags by using reusable bags when shopping in order to reduce the amount of plastic grocery bags that will end up within landfills.
For those wondering what is an acceptable recycling material, Loraas accepts five main recyclable materials including; cardboard, mixed paper, plastics #1 to #7 with a recycle symbol, household glass, household aluminum and ton. Loraas requests that food residue be cleaned from items to ensure that there is no contamination of clean recyclables.