New Brunswick

Plastic bags will now be accepted at New Brunswick redemption centres

Nearly 70 bottle redemption centres in New Brunswick will now recycle plastic bags.

Encorp Atlantic estimates redemption centres discard 5 million plastic bags a year

Redemption centres in New Brunswick will now accept all types of plastic bags, including shopping bags and garbage bags. (John Robertson/CBC)

Nearly 70 bottle redemption centres in New Brunswick will now recycle plastic bags.

Encorp Atlantic, which represents non-alcoholic beverage product distributors, is responsible for processing and recycling all non-alcoholic beverage containers received by the province's redemption centres, and, as of Monday, plastic bags.

Pierre Landry, the general manager of the company, said the program is designed to recycle plastic bags used to bring containers to the centres, but they will take all plastic bags.

"We won't turn away people with bags to be recycled because we know they'll be coming back with their deposit-bearing containers some other day," he said on Monday in an interview on Shift New Brunswick.

Landry said the idea came from feedback from redemption centre owners and staff.

"I think a lot of this also emanated from the fact that we're hearing a lot of criticism, and rightfully so, about single-use plastic and this was just really us doing our part," he said.

Redemption centres are there to recycle and that's what we do and that's what we do best.- Pierre Landry, general manager of Encorp Atlantic

Before the program was established, Landry said redemption centres were putting plastic bags in the garbage.

"We estimate that on a yearly basis redemption centres owners in New Brunswick would discard about five million bags a year. That equates to about five full tractor-trailer loads," he said.

"It's not a huge amount, but you know what? It's part of the solution. It's much better to divert this material from being landfilled."

Plastic bags collected at 69 redemption centres will be baled in the province and then taken to Enviroplast, a recycling facility north of Montreal, where the bags will be washed, melted and then made into pellets that will be sold to manufacturers to make other plastic products.

Landry said the redemption centres will take all types of plastic bags, including shopping bags and garbage bags.

"Redemption centres are there to recycle and that's what we do and that's what we do best," he said.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Encorp Atlantic represents New Brunswick's redemption centres. In fact, Encorp Atlantic represents non-alcoholic beverage product distributors.
    Jun 05, 2019 3:46 PM AT

With files from Shift New Brunswick

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