Improving Canada's recycling output will take 'radical change': report

An analysis of Canada's plastic industry shows the industry producing plastic dwarfs the industry trying to recycle it.

The report, completed by consulting firms Deloitte and ChemInfo Services, says Canadians produced 4.8 million tonnes of plastic to be made into manufactured goods in 2016, and 3.3 million tonnes of it ended up in the trash.

That's 12 times the amount of plastic that was recycled.

The production side of the industry in 2017 counted $35 billion in sales and 93,000 jobs, while the recycling side had $350 million in revenue and about 500 jobs.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada is throwing out billions of dollars of plastic every year but the federal government is developing a plan to have Canadians reuse or recycle all plastics or burn them for energy within 20 years.

The report shows getting there will take ``radical changes'' in consumer behaviour, an explosion in the number of recycling facilities in Canada, investments in recycling technology, and a litany of government policies such as landfill taxes or requiring products to include a certain amount of recycled material.