Carton Council of Canada | Circular Economy Month | Waste Reduction Week in Canada

Carton Council of Canada

Circular Economy Month Supporting Partner

About Carton Council of Canada (CCC)

Carton Council of Canada provides a platform for carton manufacturers in Canada to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low-carbon packaging solutions.

CCC helps increase carton recovery and recycling in Canada by:

  •     Financing and producing carton-recycling awareness campaigns
  •     Providing consulting services to optimize sorting processes
  •     Financing pilot projects
  •     Connecting sellers and buyers of carton bales

CCC is a proud member of Circular Innovation Council and has supported the Waste Reduction Week in Canada program since 2020.

Support for Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs)

In September 2022, CCC announced the second round of  Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) to solicit project proposals designed to help improve carton recovery in Ontario. CCC is inviting municipalities and waste management companies operating material recovery facilities (MRFs) in Ontario, and other entities responsible for operating residential recycling programs to respond to the REOI. CCC has set aside an aggregate amount of $70,000 to support projects brought forward through this REOI in 2022. Learn more here.

Advancing the Circular Economy

A fully-realized circular economy requires a complete paradigm shift of current production and consumption habits that have been ingrained in society over the past millennium. To prepare for a circular future, however, we must leverage solutions built on collaboration across value chains, and that’s exactly where Carton Council of Canada has thrived since 2010.

Pre-competitive collaboration means multiple companies from the same industry work together to overcome mutual challenges that largely focus on environmental and social impacts. These innovative partnerships are essential to initiate long-term strategic shifts where environmental purpose becomes the key focus rather than discretionary corporate responsibility programs or minimum regulatory standards.

Through the Carton Council of Canada, carton manufacturers Elopak, Evergreen Packaging, Tetra Pak, and SIG Combibloc seek to further reduce the environmental impact of their products in a pre-competitive setting. In doing so, they address systemic challenges by co-ordinating their sustainability efforts.

As of January 2021, utilizing the Resource Recovery circular business model, the Carton Council of Canada has been a showcase for successful collaboration: the national blended carton recycling-recovery rate was 56%, a significant increase compared to 26% in 2008 before the Carton Council of Canada was formed.

Types of Cartons:

In a fully circular system for cartons, the entire value chain – packaging manufacturers, brand owners, sorting facilities, municipalities, producer responsibility organizations and their oversight body, and consumers – leverage collaboration to eliminate cartons from the waste stream. Through transparent data and reporting across Canada, producers and brand owners track exactly what is being recovered, sorted, and sold as what commodity in various regions. Currently, only partial data points are available depending on the province.

“n Quebec, periodic waste audit studies are conducted, which allows organizations such as ours to gain insight into material collected curbside. However, there is no data on the recycling of material, or how much of what is collected is shipped for recycling. The opposite holds true in Ontario: there is access to recycling data but none for collection data.

Having access to common and complete tracking and reporting data across Canada to assess the environmental performance of products that are distributed nationally will only lead to benefits for brand owners, associations, and the circular economy itself. Robust tracking of circular outcomes is an opportunity to promote circular performance, which offers proof positive and motivation to drive faster, fuller adoption of the circular economy, and empower strategic decision making, helping the value chain fully realize circular economy opportunities and drive continued progress and innovation.

How Cartons are Recycled

Check out these resources to learn how cartons are recycled.

Recyclers of Used Cartons

The map below provides the names and locations of recyclers of used carton bales (grade PSI-52) in North American and elsewhere. Canada is home to one local recycler, the Sustana Fiber mill in Lévis, Québec.


Learn more about the Carton Council of Canada here.