Plastic in Action
The proud people of Canada have many beautiful cities worth bragging about. Within these cities is a bustling and dynamic people contributing to a wide range of markets. All of them use plastic in one way or another.
Below, you'll learn how seven of the biggest cities in Canada are using plastic.
Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America, standing as an international beacon of business, culture, and community. Because of this, the demand for plastic is high across many markets. In this article, we'll look at two of those markets.
Toronto is a great transportation hub for all related industries, supporting a combination of rail and marine-based distribution methods. Toronto supports the surrounding production facilities in this way. Plastic is used in a variety of ways, whether it be used as a way to create marine-grade windshields or high-performance plastics meant to improve safety when transporting hazardous material.
But Toronto is best known for being a bustling city full of startups and new development. As a result, there is a need for high-grade building materials like cladding and architectural glazing, in addition to some materials for security and protection. During construction, temporary flooring and wall protection may also be needed.
Montreal is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. Despite being smaller than Toronto, it's still home to some vital industries. Of course, those industries require a great deal of plastic.
The Port of Montreal handles 26 million tonnes of cargo each year. With this in mind, the need for marine-based plastics is high. Montreal is a gateway for many industries to ship their goods worldwide. Being the second-largest economy among Canadian cities means much money passes through this important port.
Montreal is also known for its strong aerospace industry support, being the fourth-largest center in North America for aerospace jobs. Piedmont Plastics supports this with a diverse range of high-performance plastic, replacing traditional metal components with more efficient and better-suited plastic materials. Here are some organizations that need these services:
- Canadian Space Agency (south of Montreal)
- International Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- Airports Council International (ACI World)
- International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Vancouver is the future greenest city in the world, which is impressive given the population of nearly 3 million in the greater area. On the surface, it's known for hosting over 100 TV and movie series, making it a strong tourist attraction. However, it should also be respected for its strong industrial sectors.
Forestry is Vancouver's largest industry, headquartering many companies known for supplying Canada's (and the world's) paper. Through the use of plastics, like acetal, forestry companies can work with peak efficiency. The importance of maintaining equipment in the logging and paper industries is thanks partly due to the quality of plastics.
As Vancouver has continued development, it's become known for many technology companies, from biotechnology to software development. With this comes the electrical components needed for continued growth and production. Common materials for electric applications include phenolic materials, extruded acrylic, and polycarbonate.
In Alberta’s southern territory sits another major Canadian city: Calgary. At the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, this city is known for contributing to numerous industries, from retail and financial services to agriculture and energy. Like other major cities in Canada, these industries use plastics in similar ways.
The oil and gas industry partially supports Calgary's dominant economy, contributing to the city's GDP by just over 10%. The city has over half of Canada's coal and gas production companies. The oil and gas industry is known for using PEEK, a high-performance plastic material known for durability and high-temperature resistance.
Calgary is also known to host businesses that specialize in chemical manufacturing. Plastics used in chemical manufacturing include CPVC, HDPE, and PTFE. Piedmont Plastics distributes many products like these, known for their corrosive resistance and durability.
Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and the province’s second-largest city. It is farther north than many other cities on this list but boasts an impressive population. With that population comes many industries known for their need for plastic.
Like Calgary, Edmonton is known for its strong oil and gas companies, totaling nearly $35 billion in major projects taking place in the industry. Much of this comes from the location's huge oil sand reserves, which are known to be incredibly large. As a result, the equipment needed for these excavations and the production of petrochemicals needs access to high-performance plastics.
Edmonton is also known for its strong education and technology focus, hosting the National Institute for Nanotechnology. This technology, and its related fields, rely heavily upon chipsets and semiconductors, which require plastics that are made with high purity, maintaining high-temperature resistance. This delves into the plastic and metal fabrication market, which relies on many high-durability plastics.
Ottawa, named for the beautiful river on which it sits, also uses plastics in unique and interesting ways. The city houses many federal government officials, operations, and military personnel. As you might imagine, these are only some of the industries that need Canadian plastic.
Ottawa is home to Canada’s National Defense Headquarters, which is considered to be the command center for the Canadian Armed Forces. For security purposes, high-durability plastics like polycarbonate can be used to stop projectiles and protect law enforcement and military personnel. Performance plastics are lightweight, impact-resistant, and perfect for many defense applications.
Ottawa has also earned the nickname "Silicon Valley North" for its recognition as an important technology city. The city houses major companies and regional locations for companies like Shopify, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Nokia. These companies need those same high-quality plastics mentioned before.
Winnipeg is named after its nearby lake, meaning "muddy water" from the Western Cree word "winipihk." The lake is beautiful, making the name seem somewhat misleading. There are more than a few industries here that require plastics.
The largest industry in need of plastic is healthcare, which makes up nearly 15% of the economy. Medical equipment needs to be sterile and durable, which plastic excels at. This is why it's used in sterilization treys, PPE face masks, and important medical devices. Without plastic, patients are bound to become sick.
Winnipeg is also known for its strong retail and manufacturing environment. This involves everything from food processing and handling to heavy-duty equipment across many industries. Plastic is a dynamic material known for its heavy-duty use, helpfulness in sterile environments, and high-temperature resistance.
Halifax is the capital city and largest municipality of Nova Scotia. It hosts many of the same booming industries as the cities listed before, but agriculture, fishing, and oceanography have a large impact on Nova Scotia’s economy.
Referred to as “The Valley” by some locals, Halifax is home to thousands of farms in the region. Thanks to continued advancements in farming technology, performance plastics are quickly becoming more common in heavy farming equipment. Products like nylon, HDPE, UHMW, and ABS are used because of their impact resistance, reliability, and resistance to moisture, chemicals, and extreme heat.
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