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.
- 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.