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5. Environmental Impact

5 Environmental Impact

Environmental Impact

5. 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.

In 2016, Encorp recycled 92,910 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 avoided emissions published in this report were calculated using the WARM version 13 (06/14).

In total, Encorp’s activities in 2016 contributed to the reduction of about 101.9 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalent being released into the atmosphere, compared to 98.8 thousand tonnes in 2015.

Container Recycling End Fate Report

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

Slide the table left and right. (Scroll bar is below table.) (Scroll bar is below table.)
Material Type Fate of Material
Containers Sold (% of total) Recovery % (by weight) Energy savings Weight diverted from landfill (mt) Tonnes CO2 reduced
Aluminum Aluminum cans collected in 2016 were sold and shipped to a re-melt facility in the USA and turned back into sheet stock for new cans.

Aluminum Can Recycling Process
33.5% 82.2% 93% 5,023.5 50,645
Plastic Plastic containers collected in 2016 were sold to Merlin Plastics and shipped to their two separate facilities in British Columbia and Alberta to be cleaned and pelletized to become new raw material and fibres.

Plastic Bottle Recycling Process
38.5% 75.8% 86% 10,534.5 12,441
Glass Glass containers collected in 2016 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 USA; a facility that manufactures sandblasting materials in Quesnel B.C.; and municipal sites that use crushed glass as construction aggregates.

Glass Bottle Recycling Process
18.2% 88.3% 34% 74,710.4 25,977
Polycoat Polycoat containers collected in 2016 were sold to ICF International and shipped to manufacturing plants in South Korea, Thailand and India for material recovery and production of tissue paper from the recovered fibre.

Gable Top Cartons and Drink Box Recycling Process
8.7% 67.3% 53% 1,842.0 9,745
Pouches Stand up pouches made of layers of plastic and aluminum foil did not find end markets in 2016 and were stored in Delta. Testing conducted to turn them into septic tanks failed as the shredded material had too much aluminum content. Encorp continues to explore potential end markets and continues to send material for testing and evaluation to potential end recyclers. 0.3% 37.7% 53% 8.2 43
Bag-In-Box The plastic bladders inside the Bag-In-Box containers were shipped to a manufacturing plant in South Korea where the recycled plastic was made into reservoir tanks. Cardboard was recycled by local processors. 0.3% 47.9% 53% 444.6 2,357
Bi-Metal Bi-Metal containers collected were sold to scrap metal dealers for metal recovery. 0.5% 78.9% 82% 347.1 707
2016 Total 100% 85.4% 92,910.3 101,915
2015 Total 87.4% 92,702.8 98,801

While recycling has an overall net benefit in terms of energy and emissions savings, the recycling process itself requires energy and thus has GHG emissions associated with it. When estimating net savings Encorp calculates the GHG emissions specifically associated with its stewardship activities.

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.

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are estimated using conversion factors and methodologies developed by the World Resource Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol (WRIGGP). 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 WRIGGP. As there is limited data available for Scope 3 emissions we accept that our information may be less accurate.

Emission calculations from electricity purchased were based on data gathered from a number of depots and processors in each region of the province. Results were used to estimate the energy use per metric tonne of material collected, then 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 WRIGGP. For estimated emissions inventory refer to the table below.

Emissions Inventory Summary

Type of Emission 2016 2015
(tonnes CO2)
Direct emissions are emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by Encorp Employee travel – gas use 14 28
Indirect emissions occur as a consequence of Encorp’s activities, 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[i].
Offices (excluding head office)
Purchased electricity in leased buildings (excluding head office) 1 1
Employee domestic air travel/business ferry travel 11 9
Depots - all purchased electricity/all natural gas consumed in owned or leased buildings 209 170
Processors - all purchased electricity/gas consumed in owned or leased buildings 65 48
Transportation – depots to processors
Diesel fuel (trucks) 3,657 3,738
Transportation – processors to end markets
Diesel fuel (trucks) 2,335 1,108
Rail (based on metric tonne km) - 363
Sea Cargo (based on metric tonne km) 3,042 2,954
Total Emissions from all sources 9,334 8,420

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