Other Flexible Plastic Packaging
Other flexible plastic packaging includes stand-up and zipper lock pouches, bags for potato chips and snack bars, cellophane for flowers, crinkly pasta and noodle packaging, woven and net plastic bags for produce, zipper lock sandwich bags and freezer bags and non-food protective packaging like bubble wrap and plastic shipping envelopes.
Other flexible plastic packaging, also called multi-laminate packaging, is not accepted in curbside recycling totes. These materials can be dropped off for free at CVRD Recycling Centres and Island Return It recycling depot.
Other flexible plastic packaging does NOT include plastic bags and overwrap which is collected in a separate stream at recycling drop-off depots.
Want to go green?
Reduce the use of other flexible plastic packaging by choosing to buy fresh food and making homemade meals and snacks. Other flexible plastic packaging is used mostly for smaller individual quantities of food, and can be avoided by purchasing food products in bulk.
Flexible plastic packaging is generally used for single-use food packaging, which makes it difficult to reuse these materials. Certain items, like zipper lock sandwich bags and freezer bags, can be used multiple times if washed between uses.
Other flexible plastic packaging is not accepted in curbside recycling totes as they often become tangled in sorting machinery. Similarly, plastic bags and overwrap are not accepted in curbside recycling totes either.
Sort other flexible plastic packaging and separate from plastic bags and overwrap. Ensure these materials are clean and dry and place other flexible plastic packaging items loose in the Other Flexible Plastic Packaging bin at drop-off depots.
Other flexible plastic packaging materials are being collected as part of Recycle BC’s research and development project. Recycle BC is working with Merlin Plastics to develop a viable, stable commercial process for recovering material that is currently not capable of being recycled.
The Environmental Story
Although lots of packaging is referred to as flexible plastic, there are different types of resin and polymers included in producing multi-laminate packaging to create more or less flexibility. Flexible plastic or multi-laminate packaging is made up of two or more materials bonded together with an adhesive. Compared to single material flexible packaging, multi-laminate packaging is lighter which appeals to manufacturers as they aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when transporting goods.
Due to the cost savings of transporting flexible plastic packaging materials compared to traditional plastic materials, this type of packaging will likely continue to be one of the fastest growing packaging formats.
Did you know?
Multi-layer packaging is one of the fastest growing formats of packaging. In 2015, flexible packaging made up the second largest packaging segment in the United States. This type of packaging is an example of a new technology that has positive impacts on many industries (transportation and emissions) but also poses its own challenges for sorting and recycling