The Kootenay Outdoor and Environmental Learning Society (KOELS) has been awarded $14,000 by the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund.
The Action Fund is a BC government initiative that recognizes the rapid growth of the use of plastics in manufacturing and the need to address plastic waste.
The fund granted $5 million to encourage B.C. companies to apply innovative technologies to turn used plastics into new products, support the circular economy for plastics, increase local processing capacity for recycling and create new jobs. The funded projects will replace or recycle over 20,000 tonnes of plastic per year.
The Rossland Refactory, an enterprise initiated by KOELS, will put the funds to good use, and purchase materials to construct machines for manufacturing products from recycled plastic.
“We thank the government of B.C. for their foresight in establishing this fund,” said Rossland Refactory lead Craig DeLong in a release.
“This funding will provide an important boost to the recycled plastics manufacturing industry in B.C., which is an important component of the circular economy.
“We would also like to thank Alacrity Canada Cleantech team for their work administering the funds.”
The grant recipients provide at least one-third of eligible costs toward the projects, which must be completed by Dec. 31, 2021.
Rossland Refactory will reprocess plastics and produce house numbers, ski scrapers, and benches and tables in the fall.
“We can make almost anything that isn’t too large,” said DeLong.
Projects were chosen based on their ability to increase processing capacity, increase the use of post-consumer recycled plastic in manufacturing or support PCR plastic product research, design and testing.
“These projects show what British Columbians can accomplish when their great ideas and enthusiasm are supported by a government that’s serious about tackling plastic waste and reducing pollution of our land and ocean,” said Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman.
“Today, we take another key step towards building a more conscientious and comprehensive B.C. recycling program that’s focused on transforming used plastic into an economic asset.”
The funding is an important part of the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan and its goal to address plastic waste.
“The response to the CleanBC Plastics Action Plan shows the vision and scope of British Columbia companies that are using technology in new ways to help make life better for all of us,” said Brenda Bailey, parliamentary secretary for innovation and technology. “From using artificial intelligence to sort used plastic more efficiently, to 3D printing new products out of old plastic – these companies are creating jobs and improving our environment.”