Return-It Blog

Return-It signs Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Commitment

By 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Yet the problem with plastic starts long before it reaches our oceans and beaches, and so must the solutions. A Global Commitment to eradicate plastic waste and pollution at the source has been signed by over 350 organizations including many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment. Encorp Pacific (Canada), better known as Return-It is proud to be part of this global commitment to eliminate plastic pollution at the source.

As part of this commitment, Return-It’s target is to recycle 75% of the plastic beverage containers sold into the Province of British Columbia by 2022.  In 2017, we recycled 73.5 percent by weight which equals 10,888 metric tonnes and 71.2 percent by unit volume which equals over 380 million units.  The increase to 75% would capture an additional 227 metric tonnes keeping a total of over 11,115 metric tonnes equalling over 400 million plastic beverage bottles from becoming pollution annually.

Return-It’s additional commitment is to eliminate single-use plastic film from our supply chain by 2025.  Currently, Return-It provides single-use plastic bags to both our collection facilities and the public for use in collecting and packaging plastic beverage containers in preparation for recycling.  By the end of 2019, all large depots within our system (2.5 million units or more) will be required to use reusable big bags for transportation of beverage containers back to Encorp in place of single-use bags.

In 2017 we processed and recycled 110 metric tonnes of plastic bags and the volume has been steadily increasing as our recovery rate increases.  Our goal is to implement this change in stages and replace the single-use plastic bags with a reusable bag for use by collection facilities and the public by 2025. Encorp’s commitment will result in the elimination of over 120 metric tonnes of plastic film annually.

Eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastics is an essential part of the Global Commitment vision, and will make it easier to keep the remaining plastics in the economy and out of the environment.