Changes in China’s recycling industry are influencing waste management in Northeast Saskatchewan.
MTN Disposal Ltd. will no longer accept plastic bags or plastic film (food wrap) in their blue bins. The company works with Loraas Recycling, trucking recyclables to their Saskatoon facility. Loraas Reycling assistant manager Aaron Beres said China was a large buyer of the recycled plastic, but that changed late last year when the Chinese government banned 24 materials from the recycling list.
“One of those bans was on post-consumer plastic film, which is basically plastic bags,” Beres told northeastNOW. “China was 85 per cent of the world market for recycling mills that would actually take and process plastic film.”
MTN currently has a campaign running to advise customers not to throw plastic bags into the blue bins. The company still accepts plastics numbered one through seven on the packaging. Aluminum and paper products are also still accepted.
Beres said Loraas has searched for a market for the bags, but said the value doesn’t make economic sense following China's announcement.
“The rest of the world market was flooded with everyone else’s plastic bags, and as a result nobody will even take them anymore. Unfortunately, the bags have become an unrecyclable commodity at this point,” Beres said.
MTN Disposal covers Nipawin, Carrot River, Zenon Park, Aylsham, White Fox, Smeaton, Choiceland, Codette, and rural municipalities in the Northeast.
On Twitter: @ClarkStork
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