The environmental organization Greenpeace says Canadian plastic has been discovered in mountains of waste on the other side of the world.
Greenpeace says like many southeast Asian countries, Malaysia is dealing with the infulx of plastic recyclables from North America ever since China closed its doors to imports.
Greenpeace investigated unregulated dump sites in Malaysia a few months ago and found brands like Costco’s Kirland brand, Starbucks, McDonalds and Canadian brands like Sobey’s plastic grocery bags and Saputo containers.
“Malaysia and other countries have actually said enough, we cant take any more in. The harsh reality is that there isn’t the infrastructure to be processing and dealing with it all.” Sarah King, Greenpeace Canada.
Locally, the Halton region says their recyclables go to a plant in Toronto that they hand picked because it could process and market materials domestically and ensure diversion from landfill.
Most of the plastics recycled in the Niagara region stay in Ontario or are shipped to the U.S. However in 2018, the Niagara region says we did have two small loads that went to the world export market.
The city of Hamilton said the appropriate representative was not available to answer our questions today.
Greenpeace says we need to put pressure on big manufacturers to stop producing so much single use plastics. And one way to do that as a consumer is to start looking at alternative options like shopping at bulk food stores, saying no to straws and plastic bags and bringing your own containers.