Over 95 companies, governments, institutions, and NGOs that are part of the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP) have released an ambitious five-year action plan (2023 to 2027) focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with flexible plastic packaging in Canada. The roadmap has a clear objective of transitioning the industry towards a circular packaging ecosystem.

Despite flexible packaging and films comprising 47 per cent of the plastic packaging placed on the Canadian market, the current recycling rate for these materials remains below two per cent. This striking disparity underscores a pressing concern as the demand for flexible plastic packaging continues to grow, driven by its lightweight, durable, versatile, and cost-effective attributes. However, the complex composition of flexible plastics poses significant challenges when it comes to recycling.

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The Flexible Plastic Packaging Roadmap represents a cross-value chain collaboration, uniting key players behind a shared vision for a circular economy for flexible plastic packaging in Canada and a targeted plan to accelerate and scale solutions by 2027.

The flexibles roadmap was developed by the CPP’s Flexibles Working Group and the engagement of companies, NGOs, and public sector organizations, including producers, manufacturers, brands, retailers, recyclers, non-profits, industry associations, stewardship agencies, governments, and others who collectively account for over one-third of the plastic packaging placed on the market in Canada.

“Developing a circular economy for flexible plastic packaging and films is critical given the current state and the existing challenges,” says Paul Shorthouse, strategic advisor at the CPP and lead facilitator of CPP’s Flexibles Working Group. “This roadmap presents a unique opportunity for stakeholders across the plastics value chain to come together and drive rapid, unprecedented change and investment.”

With a firm commitment to engaging stakeholders across the plastics value chain, the CPP seeks to drive the implementation of the flexibles roadmap’s three thematic areas between now and 2027, including:

  • Upstream innovation and design for circularity
  • Collection and consumer communication
  • Sorting, recycling, and end-market development

Read the full roadmap here.

Featured image credit: Getty Images.

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