B.C. aims to recycle difficult plastic: six-pack rings, chip bags, crinkly wraps

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A volunteer collects a plastic bottle during trash collection at the Kolovrechtis wetland near Halkida, Evia island, Greece, Feb.3, 2018. A British Columbia non-profit group has launched a pilot project to start collecting some of the toughest plastics to recycle such as potato chip bags, zipper-lock sandwich bags and six-pack rings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

A British Columbia non-profit group has launched a pilot project to start collecting some of the toughest plastics to recycle such as potato chip bags, zipper-lock sandwich bags and six-pack rings.

Recycle BC spokesman Allen Langdon says accumulating the problem plastics is just the start, while figuring out how to actually recycle the flexible plastics is the greater issue.

He says the Recycle BC collection project is the first of its kind in North America, but it’s being conducted on a voluntary basis where people need to drop off plastics at one of 116 depots across the province.

Langdon says the pilot project is not connected to widespread curbside recycling programs in B.C.

He says Recycle BC is involved in research that seeks to separate and ultimately safely recycle the multiple forms of plastic and other materials that often make up the flexible plastic packages, including frozen produce bags, foil-wrap plastics and bubble wraps.

Leah Bendell, a marine ecology scientist at Simon Fraser University, says consumers can also make more active choices in the products they choose and governments can impose regulations to keep plastics out of the environment.

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