Stable and thriving end markets for post-consumer cartons are critical to the success of national recycling and recovery efforts. As a result, one of the central pillars of Carton Council of Canada’s (CCC’s) mandate is to act as a resource, connecting MRFs with mills and other purchasers of post-consumer cartons.

In 2019, an estimated 33,000 tonnes of cartons were collected for recycling in Canada; any of the bales that were purchased for recycling had to be sent to the United States or to other international purchasers.

On May 1, 2020, however, CCC was pleased to help share the news that Sustana Fiber’s mill located in Lévis, Quebec has begun accepting food and beverage cartons for recycling. Sustana Fiber Lévis is the first Canadian mill in 20 years to recycle cartons. This is an important milestone for cartons in Canada, as we now also have access to a domestic recycler of post-consumer food and beverage cartons.

Sustana Lévis will be sourcing dedicated bales of used cartons (PSI-52 grade) primarily from MRFs in Eastern Canada. Currently, Sustana Lévis’s capacity is estimated to be 3,000 to 4,000 metric tons of used cartons annually though the mill has plans to increase this volume over time. That is approximately twice the volume of cartons sold by Quebec MRFs in 2019 according to Recyc-Quebec’s Material Price Index; in Ontario, MRFs sold approximately 8,000 tonnes of carton bales in 2018 (the latest available figure provided in RPRA’s Datacall report).

CCC was proud to support Sustana Fiber in its decision to accept cartons for recycling at its Lévis, Quebec facility, providing estimates on the potential supply levels of post-consumer cartons in their target area and helping them make the necessary connections with MRFs and other facilities. In other cases, CCC can be a resource to MRFs considering implementing positive sorting of cartons, and sharing best practices to optimize sorting processes.

If you have questions, as a municipality, a MRF or mill, please don’t hesitate to contact me at CCC would be pleased to work with you.