Gathering Circles: Perspectives From the Circular Plastics Economy Forum

The Conference Board of Canada, October 7, 2022
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This online experience looks at the recycled plastics in Canada and addresses what policies, markets, and business models need to bolster the country’s circular plastics economy.

Document Highlights

  • Compared with other commodities, recycled plastics have relatively crude, inefficient, and illiquid markets in Canada and the United States. Courting large pools of capital from sophisticated investors remains challenging.
  • Finding an optimal balance among barriers to entry, competition, accountability, and consistency in regulations across provincial and international borders is fundamental to attracting private investment.
  • Even in an ideal circular plastics economy with a landfill diversion and recycling rate of 100 per cent, material losses would still occur, creating waste streams. End-of-life management of these waste streams may require contentious “linear” solutions.
  • Circular business models have the potential to transform our economy toward a more sustainable path. The necessary market signals for their success are lacking in Canada. Circular business models also require behavioural changes that some consumers and other stakeholders will resist.

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