Turning plastics from old car batteries into new ones, developing artificial intelligence to sort plastics for recycling, and supporting local micro-recycling facilities are among the new initiatives being funded under British Columbia’s CleanBC Plastics Action Fund.

Recognizing the rapid growth of the use of plastics in manufacturing and the need to address plastic waste, CleanBC is providing nine projects with $5 million to encourage innovative technologies to turn used plastics into new products, support the circular economy for plastics, and increase local processing capacity for recycling while creating new jobs. The funded projects will replace or recycle over 20,000 tonnes of plastic per year.

“These projects show what British Columbians can accomplish when their great ideas and enthusiasm are supported by a government that’s serious about tackling plastic waste and reducing pollution of our land and ocean,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Today, we take another key step towards building a more conscientious and comprehensive B.C. recycling program that’s focused on transforming used plastic into an economic asset.”

The recipients provide at least one-third of eligible costs towards the total cost of the projects, which must be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. Projects were chosen based on their ability to increase processing capacity, increase the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in manufacturing or support PCR plastic product research, design and testing.

“The circular economy in B.C. shows great promise for economic recovery, reducing emissions and recycling plastics into new products,” said Jill Doucette, executive director, Synergy Foundation, a Victoria-based non-profit that supports the administration of the fund. “In B.C., we have incredible industry leaders in plastic recycling, and this support will help take their efforts to the next level.”

The funding is an important part of the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan and its goal to address plastic waste. The initiative is also part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan to protect people’s health and livelihoods, while supporting businesses and communities.

“The response to the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan shows the vision and scope of British Columbia companies that are using technology in new ways to help make life better for all of us,” said Brenda Bailey, B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Technology. “From using artificial intelligence to sort used plastic more efficiently, to 3D printing new products out of old plastic – these companies are creating jobs and improving our environment.”

The CleanBC fund web page can be found here: https://alacritycanada.com/cleantech/cleanbc-plastics-action-fund 

Featured image: The Kootenay Outdoor and Environmental Learning Society’s plastic brick wall by the Rossland Refactory in B.C.

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