toronto black plastic

Popular Toronto supermarket to start recycling black plastic

Black plastic is the bane of every Toronto recycling nut's existence (I mean, after raccoons and weird government policies).

It looks recyclable, and it has numbers on the bottom of it, but that takeout-container will go straight into a landfill if you toss it in a Toronto blue box.

Such is not the case in nearby cities Brampton, Mississauga or Caledon, but in Toronto, "black plastic of any kind, such as take-out containers and black garbage bags" aren't accepted in the City's recycling program.

People have long been confused (and/or angry) about why.

The City of Toronto states on its website that residents should throw black plastic products in the garbage, as opposed to the recycling bin, is because "there is no stable market for the volume of black plastic generated in Toronto."

Also, black plastic "cannot be sorted mechanically at the recycling facility because the optical sorting technology cannot recognize it."

More and more people have been speaking out against these policies and the use of black plastic in Toronto as they learn that all of those curries they ordered this winter produced a lot of garbage.

The Junction's independent, organics-focused Sweet Potato grocery store is making up for its (unknowing) previous contributions to the mountain of black plastic by giving the city a place to bring it back.

"[We] wanted to come up with a better solution for all of the black plastic containers that we purchased back when we thought they were properly recyclable, and we're thrilled to announce that we've come upon a solution that, while not ideal, we think is viable for the time being," reads an announcement posted to the store's blog this week.

"We've found a private recycling company that processes black plastic. We are sending our recyclable black plastic to their facility in Fergus, ON.," the post continues.

"If you have black plastic at home that should be recycled (hint, most takeout in the city seems to rely on black plastic), please bring it into the store, cleaned first, and we will make sure it's recycled responsibly."

The Sweet Potato is picking up the bill for these products to be recycled and says it'll accept black plastic from anyone else in the community.

You can learn more about how, specifically, to contribute your un-recyclables to the Fergus-bound shipments right here.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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