New alliance to maximize innovation, reduce plastics waste in Alberta

Published on July 23, 2020

Photo courtesy the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association

EDMONTON – A new collaboration between government, industry, and academia will help transform and innovate Alberta’s plastics sector by creating a plastics circular economy within the province.

The Plastics Alliance of Alberta will work to ensure that Alberta’s plastics sector creates plastics that can be reused and recycled, generates no waste or emissions, and restores ecosystems harmed by the manufacturing of hard-to-recycle or single-use products.

Alberta is already one of Canada’s largest manufacturing locations of plastics, and presents a huge opportunity for the province’s public and private sector organizations to advocate for innovation in the way plastics are designed, manufactured, and used and re-used in our economy.

The group’s 20 founding member organizations will collaborate on actions needed to encourage and support a plastics circular economy in Alberta. By working together, Alberta will be the voice for change in how the global community thinks about plastics – not as a harmful waste, but as a reusable and recyclable product for a sustainable future.

The alliance will be chaired by NAIT Industry Solutions and co-chaired by the Recycling Council of Alberta.

QUICK FACTS

  • According to the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Alberta’s chemistry and plastics industry was valued at $12.1 billion and employed about 58,400 people directly and indirectly in 2019.
  • Canada has a significant opportunity for plastics recycling. A study by Deloitte and Cheminfo Services Inc. found that 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in Canadian landfills in 2016, 12 times the amount of plastic that was recycled.
  • The same report suggested that major changes to recycling in Canada could see 90 per cent of plastics avoid landfills by 2030 through new investments in recycling and changes to government regulation and consumer willpower.

QUOTES

“This alliance brings together government, industry, associations and academia to explore areas that support a circular economy in Alberta and ensures sustainable development for future generations. By fully appreciating each step along the plastics value chain, we have the opportunity to identify actions that will develop an investment climate where economic and social benefits far outweigh any costs.”

—Deborah Pietrusik, Chair, Plastic Alliance of Alberta; Research and Innovation Consultant – NAIT Industry Solutions

“The Plastics Alliance of Alberta is an exciting collaborative initiative that brings together stakeholders who have the technical knowledge and environmental insight to make Alberta a hub for innovative plastics management approaches that can address plastic waste issues while fostering sustainable economic development.”

—Christina Seidel, Co-Chair, Plastic Alliance of Alberta; Executive Director, Recycling Council of Alberta

“NAIT has always served industry – and Alberta’s economy – by working directly with organizations to help them find solutions to the challenges they face. By being part of this alliance of like-minded organizations, together we can create change that will benefit the environment, consumers and Alberta’s plastics industry.”

—Sandra Marocco, Vice-President Industry Partnership & Chief Marketing Officer – NAIT

“As one of Canada’s largest plastics manufacturers, it is important that Alberta takes significant steps to reduce its environmental impact while continuing to produce plastics products that make life for Canadians better, healthier, and safer. As global demand for plastics grows, initiatives to support responsible manufacturing become even more important. The Plastics Alliance of Alberta will play a critical role in our pursuit to reduce plastic waste while also supporting job creation, and economic growth and diversity. By working together, Alberta is demonstrating our leadership as a responsible plastics supplier for Canada and the world.”

—Hon. Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With nearly 34,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to the provincial economy. NAIT also contributes to Alberta's prosperity by helping business and industry become more competitive with Industry Solutions offered through its Productivity and Innovation Centre, including technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research. Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Media inquiries

Nicole Graham
NAIT Media Relations
C 780.916.8307 E media@nait.ca