“We are working alongside DBS Environmental to turn 100 per cent of Alberta’s plastic paint containers into products that can and are used locally in industrial, agricultural, construction and municipal applications,” explains Jonathan Beekman, Owner of Full Circle Plastic. “Albertans can feel good about knowing that this waste plastic is being given a second life in products that in many cases outperform traditional offerings.”
Whether it is fences, picnic tables, park benches or components in the construction of large buildings, the company is creating value for communities. But most importantly, they are making the most of everyday waste materials that would otherwise be piling up in local landfills.
“These recycled products offer distinctive features beyond what has been previously available,” says Beekman. “For example, our ‘plastic insert’ beams last at least 10 times longer than the usual wood alternative, which translates into savings on the construction site as well as a faster turnaround time for forming or scaffolding rental fleets.”
The company’s fence posts also deliver significant benefits. Not only are the sturdy structures immune to moisture and/or alkali, they do not require any additional treatment to ward off pests unlike the chemicals that are typically added to wood posts to counteract rot, and therefore, do not pass chemicals into the earth.
“We are proud to be a business driven by both environmental responsibility and sustainability,” remarks Beekman. “We are continually adapting our processes, leveraging technology, and making the most of the evolving plastics market. Today, our process is different than six months ago and in another six months, we will have changed again for the better.”
While most plastics cannot be recycled without a costly task of separation, cleaning, and technical hurdles, the innovative methods at Full Circle Plastics facilitate mixing of multiple types of plastic. It’s a homegrown Albertan solution that is working exceptionally well and it all begins when the plastic paint pails are presented for recycling.
“Any buckets that previously had hazardous materials inside are inspected and treated accordingly,” Ed Gugenheimer, CEO of the Alberta Recycling Management Authority. “Once excess paint is removed from the vessels, they are ready to be shredded and granulated for repurposing.”
DBS Environmental shreds the plastic into two inch pieces before granulating it into half an inch crumbs. That’s when Full Circle Plastics takes over, blending the resulting product with other assorted plastics and molding everything into the practical offerings. In fact, over the last three years, the company has converted over 2.6 million kg of recycled plastic and people are taking notice.
“Our products are gaining popularity throughout Canada, the USA and in several countries in South America,” comments Beekman. “For us that is clear proof of the tremendous value hidden in everyday plastic waste.”