B.C. recycling depots to collect new materials including chip bags, wrappers

Snack packaging with a foil liner is among the new materials Recycle B.C. depots will be accepting as part of a pilot project to determine how best to recycle them. Ted Field

You’ll soon be noticing another option at several B.C. recycling depots, allowing you to toss items like potato chip bags in a new category called ‘other flexible plastic packaging.’

The crinkly chip bags and other snack bags with a foil liner, stand-up drink pouches, and net bags for produce are among the items that will be collected by 116 depots throughout the province as of Friday, June 1.

This is all part of a pilot project led by Recycle B.C. to help determine how best to recycle these materials never before collected under the residential recycling program.

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More examples of materials accepted as part of the Other Flexible Plastic Packaging program are below. Click here for a full list and more information.

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Stand-up and Zipper Lock Pouches

  • Zipper lock pouches for frozen foods like prawns, berries and prepared food
  • Zipper lock bags for fresh foods like grapes, berries and deli meat
  • Stand-up pouches for baby food and hand soap refills
  • Stand-up and zipper lock pouches for items like dried fruits, granola, sugar, oatmeal, quinoa, dish detergent pods and grated cheese

Crinkly Wrappers and Bags

  • Bags for potato chips, candy, dried pasta, coffee and cereal
  • Cellophane for flowers and gift baskets
  • Wrappers for cheese slices, snack bars and instant noodles

Flexible Packaging with Plastic Seal

  • Packaging for fresh pasta, pre-packaged deli meats and pre-packaged cheese

Woven and Net Plastic Bags

  • Net bags for avocados, onions, oranges, lemons and limes
  • Woven plastic bags for rice

Non-food Protective Packaging

  • Padded protective plastic like plastic shipping envelopes, plastic air packets and bubble wrap

Examples of materials that will not be part of the expanded program are below.

  • Plastic Squeeze Tubes
  • Plastic-lined Paper
  • Paper-lined Plastic
  • Plastic Strapping
  • Six-pack Rings
  • Biodegradable or Oxo Plastic
  • PVC/Vinyl

Items in this new umbrella category are among the fastest-growing packaging types on the market and it’s one of the largest categories of packaging, according to Recycle B.C.

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Part of the problem, the non profit says, is the combined materials involved in these soon-to-be accepted materials.

Recycle B.C. is working with a post-consumer processing company to try and find a solution to those challenges.

“Each day we move closer toward our ultimate goal of collecting all types of packaging,” Recycle B.C. managing director Allen Langdon said in a news release.

“We’re excited to be developing a viable commercial process to recycle these common but tough-to-process items and ultimately to bring more recycling options to communities throughout the province.”

More depots will start voluntary collection of these materials as of Sept. 1 and Recycle B.C. expects all of its depots across the province to start collecting as of Jan. 1.

Recycle B.C. says anything collected during the project that can’t be recycled will be turned into engineered fuel.

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