Chinese plastic ban affecting B.C. recyclers
Piles of plastic are piling up in some B.C. recycling facilities thanks to a recent Chinese ban on importing unwashed post-consumer plastics.
The crackdown is forcing some companies to stop collecting plastics altogether, while others scramble to find new markets for the materials.
"I don't want to turn my five acres into a plastic field," said Ed Shea, who collects bottles and bags on his five-acre property in Prince George.
Shea used to send the plastic to a Lower Mainland company that shipped them to China, but now the recycling has nowhere to go.
"I have no qualms about being the guy who collects it. I didn't realize that I would have to turn into a processor," said Shea, but he refuses to let it end up in the landfill.
"Everything you see here is recyclable. It's a lot of plastic. But this isn't trash.This is reusable," he told CBC News.
Shea says he plans to buy a chipping machine that will break down the plastic into pellets, a more attractive form for buyers.
But even then, he'll still have to find someone willing to purchase the product.