Local Business Receives Government Funding to Recycle Automotive Plastics and Aid Circular Economy in B.C.

VICTORIA, B.C. – On May 19, 2021, a portion of the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund was awarded to a Burnaby-based recycling facility – Reclaim Plastics – to help them divert automotive plastics from the landfill. With its new funding, Reclaim Plastics will invest in innovative technology to improve the sortation of hard-to-recycle automotive plastics and their ability to recycle more car bumpers, headlights, and other automotive plastics – working to tackle the 80-million-pound automotive plastic problem in B.C.

“With automotive plastics being the second highest contributor to plastic waste after packaging, our goal has always been to prevent automotive plastic waste from entering the landfill,” says Al Boflo, Partner at Reclaim Plastics. “Now, we will be able to expand our operation and contribute to a more sustainable province – helping auto body shops and auto recyclers to become more environmentally-conscious – and enable automotive plastics to be repurposed in the economy.”

According to the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan, the use of plastics in manufacturing is growing rapidly, but only a small fraction is recycled back into the plastic supply chain. The goal of the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund – created and funded by the Government of BC and administered by Alacrity Canada – is to provide local businesses with the financial means to expand the marketplace for reusable plastics, in order to support the circular economy and create new jobs.

“There is enormous potential for plastic waste to be source material for new products – keeping it out of landfills and protecting our environment – another strategy in our CleanBC Plastics Action Plan,” says George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Previously, the automotive recycling process was only concerned with the extraction of metals and fluids from end-of-life vehicles, with no focus on the recovery of plastics. As the average vehicle volume is 50% plastic (or approximately 440 pounds of plastic), there is an opportunity to recycle more automotive plastics and integrate this post-consumer resin (PCR) into BC’s circular economy to create landscape edging, piping, or even new plastic car parts. Currently, Metro Vancouver has implemented a disposal ban on auto bodies and parts, but this ban has not been mandated by the rest of the province, so many auto body shops and auto recyclers continue to discard their automotive plastic waste, as it is cheaper than recycling.

At their local facility in Burnaby, Reclaim Plastics receives hundreds of automotive plastic parts daily, which needs to be sorted, decontaminated and processed, before it can be recycled. With approximately 850 car accidents in BC each day and 200,000 end-of-life vehicles being scrapped each year, Reclaim Plastics is only receiving a fraction of the 80 million pounds of automotive plastic waste that is accumulated from collision shops and end-of-life vehicles each year. To learn more, visit www.reclaimplastics.com.

In partnership with the Government of BC, the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund is administered by Alacrity Canada’s Cleantech Program. Alacrity Canada is a Victoria-based not-for-profit organization that primarily connects technology entrepreneurs and innovators with support, mentorship and capital across a variety of industries. To learn more, visit www.alacritycanada.com.