Environmental Impact
5.1 Seizing the Potential

Material collected by Encorp is shipped to recyclers for further processing into new material in accordance with Section 8 of the Recycling Regulation.

  • Aluminum

    Aluminum is the most valuable commodity we collect and the most commonly used individual serving container. After collection, we baled all crushed aluminum cans collected in 2015 before selling them to a major re-melt facility in the USA, where they’re rolled into sheet stock and made into new cans, a process that takes about six weeks.

    Recycling aluminum produces significant savings in both energy and resources. Manufacturing a can from recycled aluminum uses 93% less energy than manufacturing a can from new material.

  • Plastic

    Encorp collects two commonly-used plastic resins: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). We separate these plastics and send them to different facilities for cleaning. Then, they’re power-washed, shredded, and powerwashed again. From there, the shredded material is sold to companies that pull, stretch, and meld the shreds into fibre for new bottles and buckets. The process provides an 86% energy savings over manufacturing new plastic. Plastic containers collected in 2015 were sold to Merlin Plastics and shipped to their facilities in British Columbia and Alberta to be cleaned and pelletized to become new raw material for manufacturers of various plastic products including new containers, strapping material and fibres.

  • Glass

    Encorp accepts a variety of glass juice and beverage bottles, as well as wine, spirits, imported beer and cooler bottles. Of all the glass bottles sold in B.C., almost 94% are returned. Glass containers collected in 2015 were processed in British Columbia and shipped to various end markets including a plant that produces fibreglass insulation in Alberta; a facility that produces new glass bottles in Seattle WA, USA; a facility that manufactures sandblasting materials in Quesnel, B.C.; and municipal sites that use crushed glass as construction aggregates.

  • Polycoat

    Polycoated packaging such as drink boxes and juice cartons collected in 2015 were sold to ICF International, USA and shipped to manufacturing plants in South Korea, Thailand and Japan. There they are hydrapulped to separate the paper, plastic and foil, a process that recovers thousands of tonnes of paper fibre. The high-quality paper fibre is then put to use again in paper products such as cardboard boxes and tissue paper. Other uses include using the fibre for wallboard and roof shingles. For every ton of paper pulp recycled, approximately 17 trees are saved.

  • Other

    Other metal containers collected in 2015 were sold to scrap metal dealers for metal recovery. Containers including stand up pouches made of layers of plastic and aluminum foil and laminated plastic bags inside the cardboard bag-in-box did not find end markets in 2015 and were stored in Delta, B.C. Encorp continues exploring potential end markets and in 2016 we will send some of this material to Korea where it will be tested in a process that recycles them into septic tanks.

Environmental Impact
5.2 Environmental Report

The Government of British Columbia has adopted public policies intended to promote a low carbon economy. As a stewardship agency operating under a provincial regulation, Encorp compiles applicable data, analyzes and reports on the impacts of its stewardship activities. The annual environmental report and the benchmarking of our greenhouse gas emissions provide valuable insight to improve efficiencies and the potential to reduce future energy consumption.

Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Recycling

In 2015, Encorp recycled over 92,000 metric tonnes of used beverage containers. The energy saved through the recycling of these materials has been converted into tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) the common measure of greenhouse gases (GHGs), based on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM). The model calculates net emission reductions based on the average distribution of fuels consumed through the entire lifecycle production process.

The avoided emissions published in this report were calculated using the WARM version 13 (06/14).

In total, Encorp’s activities in 2015 contributed to the reduction of about 98.8 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalent being released into the atmosphere, compared to 100.9 thousand tonnes in 2014.

% Energy Savings from Use of Recycled Inputs for Manufacturing of Material
2015 tonnes CO2 equivalent reduced
2014 tonnes CO2 equivalent reduced
Aluminum 93% 47,490 49,255
Plastic 86% 12,862 13,706
Pouches/Bag-in-Box 53% 2,144 2,485
Glass 34% 25,824 25,039
Bi-Metal 82% 707 459
Polycoat 53% 9,774 9,942
Totals 98,801 100,886

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Encorp’s Stewardship Activities

While recycling has an overall net benefit in terms of energy and emissions savings, the recycling process itself does require energy and thus has GHG emissions associated with it. The Waste Reduction Model factors in the typical energy use associated with recycling; however when estimating net savings Encorp calculates the GHG emissions specifically associated with its stewardship activities. By doing so, we hope to identify ways in which we can minimize our carbon footprint.

Since Encorp is not a manufacturing company the majority of our associated GHG emissions come as a result of transporting materials as well as heating and powering our network of facilities. Therefore, we define Encorp’s GHG inventory boundary from the point that empty containers enter into the Encorp system at either a depot or retailer right through to when the materials are delivered to the end processors for recycling into new products. Emissions are estimated using conversion factors and methodologies developed by the World Resource Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The collection, transportation and processing services provided to Encorp are done through third party independent contractors and the emissions produced by these activities are classified as Indirect Scope 3 GHG emissions in accordance with the World Resource Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol. As there is limited data available for Scope 3 emissions we accept that this data may be less accurate.

Accounting and Reporting on Scopes

Consistent with prior years, emission calculations from electricity purchased were based on a survey conducted which included a number of depots and processors in each region of the province. These depots and processors were asked to provide data for the electricity and natural gas consumption for the year. Results were then used to estimate the energy use per metric tonne of material collected which then was extrapolated to the total weight of used beverage containers collected in the province.

The estimated energy consumption in KwHs was then converted into the carbon dioxide emissions using the calculators offered by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Starting in 2010, the British Columbia Electricity Intensity factors retrieved from Environment Canada’s website were used to calculate emissions from the purchased electricity to better reflect the mix of low emission public utilities in B.C. In 2013, we added other GHG gases (CH4 and N20) in the calculation of the CO2 equivalent (CO2e) to better reflect the reported emissions avoided into the atmosphere as a result of our recycling activities.

Emissions Sources Exclusions

Emissions associated with heating and powering the Encorp head office are not included in the GHG inventory since the office is part of a shared lease facility for which heat and power is controlled centrally by the landlord. Staff commuting to work in personal cars is also excluded as this is considered to fall under the personal carbon footprint of the employee and Encorp has little control over where people choose to live. Staff commuting on BC Ferries was excluded. Finally, emissions associated with the handling of materials outside of Encorp’s core stewardship activities of deposit bearing beverage containers, such as milk cartons (2014), electronics, and the collection of packaging and printed paper material from the Return-It depots, were excluded since such activities fall out the scope of Encorp’s core recycling stewardship activities for B.C.

Emissions Inventory Summary (tonnes CO2)

Type of Emission
Direct emissions are emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by Encorp Employee travel - gas use 28 30
Indirect emissions occur as a consequence of the activities of Encorp, but are from sources not owned or controlled by Encorp. Included are emissions from purchased electricity consumed by Encorp’s offices, depots, processors and transporters, as well as the transportation of the beverage containers by contracted transporters.[i]
Offices (excluding head office)
Purchased electricity in leased buildings (excluding head office) 1 4
Employee domestic air travel 8 12
Employee domestic business ferry travel 1 1
All purchased electricity in owned or leased buildings 118 91
All natural gas consumed in owned or leased buildings 52 103
All purchased electricity in owned or leased buildings 44 64
All purchased gas consumed in owned or leased buildings 4 3
Transportation – depots to processors
Diesel Fuel 3,738 3,775
Transportation – processors to end markets
Diesel Fuel 1,108 1,156
Rail (based on metric tonne km) 363 374
Sea Cargo (based on metric tonne km) 2,954 3,277
Total Emissions all sources 8,420 8,890

Emissions Reduction Strategies

Encorp will continue to consider opportunities for GHG reductions and integrate environmental sustainability objectives in our annual operational plans and initiatives.

Carbon Data Collection and Management

Encorp continues to work on improving the data collection process from all its suppliers to increase the accuracy of the reporting for Scope 3 GHG emissions. Encorp will also evaluate other methodologies and tools available for calculation of the GHG emissions to ensure that region specific emissions factors are used in future years.

[i] All indirect emissions except for Office use were calculated based on the sample data provided by selected Depots, Processors, and Transporters.