Plastics Recycling Update Magazine

Updated: 1 day 20 hours ago

California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:05
California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 28, 2014

In a surprising twist, California's bag ban bill has passed through the state Assembly.

After an initial Assembly vote Aug. 26 appeared to be four votes shy of the 41 needed to pass, legislators continued to debate the measure this week and eventually the bill was granted reconsideration.  A rare revote today saw 44 votes registered in support of the bill, which now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

Senators have to pass the bill by Aug. 31, when the California legislature officially concludes.  If passed, Gov. Jerry Brown would have until Sept. 30 to sign off on the measure.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, bans plastic checkout bags throughout state while imposing a minimum 10-cent fee on paper, compostable or reusable bags.  The measure also secured $2 million in competitive state loans to help bag makers transition to manufacturing thicker reusable bags.

Mark Murray, executive director of pro-ban group Californians Against Waste, says the bill passed a "tough hurdle" in moving through the Assembly and has the support needed to pass through the Senate.

"We’re counting the votes and we need 21, but we have 22," Murray told Plastics Recycling Update.  "I feel pretty good."

The bill, which Murray earlier predicted would pass through both the Assembly and Senate this week, has faced heavy opposition from the plastic bag industry and allies alike in the paper industry.  Plastic bag makers have long contended a statewide ban would cause jobs to be lost, while the paper industry has lobbied against the 10-cent charge the bill levys on paper, compostable and reusable bags offered at checkout.

In a strange turn of events, the San Jose Mercury News blew the lid on a fictitious Latino advocacy group, Familias Latinas de California, created by ban-opponents as part of a late push to urge California legislators to oppose the measure.

 

 

Massachusetts voters show early support for bottle bill expansion

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 15:18
Massachusetts voters show early support for bottle bill expansion

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 27, 2014

An environmentally-focused telephone poll out of Massachusetts shows support for an expanded bottle bill.

The poll, which reached a total of 606 "likely voters" between Aug. 3-5 and Aug. 10-12, found that 62 percent support an expansion of the state's bottle bill to include soda, beer and malt beverage containers, including plastic water bottles. The measure will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot after lawmakers failed to reach an accord earlier this summer that would appease both the beverage industry and environmentalists.

The poll was conducted by SocialSphere Inc. for the Boston Globe as part of the newspaper's weekly series of public opinion polls.

According to SocialSphere's chief analytics officer, Jonathan Chavez, voters in the state are well-versed in the back-and-forth that has gone on for years now regarding whether to expand the bill or keep it as is. "It's not a political issue with a lot of complications," Chavez is quoted as saying in the Boston Globe report on polling results. "That suggests not a whole lot can or will be done to change opinions."

Just 10 percent of poll participants said they remained undecided on the measure, with just 27 percent opposing the measure.

That said, the interests involved in the debate — and the potential money at stake for the beverage industry — suggest voters will hear plenty from expansion opponents leading up to the November 4 public vote.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: How plastics recycling is evolving

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 15:15
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: How plastics recycling is evolving

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 27, 2014

From curbside collection to export markets and all the places in between, a range of presentations at the upcoming Resource Recycling Conference will provide a wealth a knowledge about what the future landscape of plastics recycling might look like.

Amy Roth of Green Spectrum Consulting will show which plastics are showing up in curbside roll carts and explain where they go. Elizabeth Bedard, of APR's Rigids Committee of the Association, will offer a deep dive into the supply and demand of polypropylene. And SPI's Kim Holmes will help sort out the increasingly complex relationship between shifts in export markets and processing realities in the U.S.

Those are just a few of the valuable education opportunities available to plastics professionals at Resource Recycling Conference 2014. Book your spot in New Orleans now.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.

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California bag ban falls short

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 15:12
California bag ban falls short

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 27, 2014

A bill that would have banned plastic checkout bags from grocery stores and retailers in California has been defeated yet again.

Seven California Representatives chose not to vote on the measure Monday, leading to a 37-33 vote that fell four votes shy of garnering the 41 votes needed to move out of Assembly and into the Senate.

Mark Murray, executive director of ban-supporter Californians Against Waste, is calling on the public to press the seven non-voting members of the Assembly. Murray says a revote is possible before the end of the week. It is unclear how likely that possibility is, especially in light of the fact that the bill would also need to make it pass the Senate in that timespan.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, would have banned plastic checkout bags throughout state while imposing a minimum 10-cent fee on paper or reusable bags. The measure also secured $2 million in competitive state loans to help bag makers transition to manufacturing thicker reusable bags.

Murray suggested last week the votes were in place for the bill to pass through both the Assembly and the Senate by the time the state legislature closes shop at the end of August. Two representatives identified as potential swing votes, Steven Bradford and Shirley Weber, were among the seven non-voting members of the Assembly.

Bradford's office last week said the Representative was "studying the debate," but as the vote neared Bradford decided the bill was not the kind of bill he could support. "While I support efforts to clean and protect the environment, I felt AB 270 did not go about it the right way," Bradford said in a statement sent to Plastics Recycling Update.

It is the third state bill to fall to make it passed state legislators. Similar attempts in 2010 and 2013 also fell short, but this year — with 116 local ordinances covering about one third of California's population — was viewed as the best opportunity yet to get a statewide ban through the legislature.

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ReCommunity says quality must improve

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 15:07
ReCommunity says quality must improve

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 27, 2014

One of the largest single-stream MRF operators in the country says "non-conforming" materials, including film and bags, are inundating facilities nationwide.

In an "Inbound Quality Alert" memo sent out earlier this month, ReCommunity states "nearly all" of the company's 33 U.S. facilities have been getting too much material they simply can't recycle. Those materials, such as garden hoses, plastic bags, diapers, needles and other medical waste, propane tanks, as well as yard and food waste, are contaminating the materials ReCommunity can recoup and hurting their value.

"Poor quality jeopardizes the usability of recycled materials throughout the supply chain, which is critical to the success of our mission; diverting recyclable materials from landfills," the alert reads.

Jeff Fielkow, ReCommunity's chief sales and marketing officer, told Resource Recycling the company is not alone in its inbound challenges. "Addressing poor inbound material quality is an industry-wide and supply-chain-long challenge," Fielkow wrote in an email. "Whether through surcharges or other measures, processors will be forced to share the cost of ensuring worker safety and end-market quality requirements."

Plastic films and bags, Fielkow notes, pose challenges "if a single-stream program is unprepared and ill-equiipped to cpature and process" them, but adds that non-plastic items "are an even bigger problem."

The problematic materials that are showing up at ReCommunity's MRFs aren't permitted in residential and commercial recycling programs in the first place and Fielkow points to education as key to correcting the issue. "We as an industry must recommit to ramping up education and outreach," Fielkow stated.

Beyond educational outreach to residents by the waste management industry – informing them of what to throw in recycling bins and what to keep out – ReCommunity also suggests penalties will await communities who can't get things straight. "ReCommunity will reject unacceptable loads and charge generators (or downgrade prices) for the costs associated with such unacceptable items (such as transportation, re-loading, clean-up, alternate disposal)," the memo reads.

As for the company's relationship to single-stream programs, which, despite their popularity have always posed contamination challenges, Fielkow said the company remains committed to the approach as "the most effective, efficient means of recycling."

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Article paints grim portrait of Garbage Patch

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 15:04
Article paints grim portrait of Garbage Patch

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 27, 2014

Back from an oceanic voyage to the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," a research leader has penned a New York Times opinion piece reflecting on the trip and our global dependence on plastic.

Titled "Choking the Oceans with Plastic," Charles J. Moore's article provides striking details on the current state of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre of plastics-dominated marine debris located in the central North Pacific Ocean.

"Although it was my 10th voyage to the area, I was utterly shocked to see the enormous increase in the quantity of plastic waste since my last trip in 2009," Moore writes. "Plastics of every description, from toothbrushes to tires to unidentifiable fragments too numerous to count, floated past our marine research vessel Alguita for hundreds of miles without end."

Moore's crew, which consisted of six scientists attempting to study the Garbage Patch, even found "a floating island" of debris encircled by plastic buoys and thick enough in parts to even walk on.

"The reality is that only by preventing manmade debris — most of which is disposable plastic — from getting into the ocean in the first place will a measurable reduction in the ocean’s plastic load be accomplished," Moore writes.

To cut down on plastics dependence, Moore posits a multi-pronged approach, including structural and policy-driven controls, will be needed, but adds that the solution shouldn't be expected to come from the recycling industry.

"Plastics are a nightmare to recycle," Moore states. "They are very hard to clean. They can melt at low temperatures, so impurities are not vaporized … Biodegradable plastics exist, but manufacturers are quick to point out that marine degradable does not mean 'marine disposable.'"

Moore's research team is planning on releasing a scientific study on the impact of ingested waste plastic on fish in the Pacific, but says far more research is needed.

 

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PetroChem Wire: August recycled polystyrene supply abundant, demand steady

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 15:00
PetroChem Wire: August recycled polystyrene supply abundant, demand steady

Aug. 27, 2014

HIPS white regrind sold in mid-August at 58 cpp delivered North Carolina and Michigan, with plentiful availability and stable demand reported. Nursery/horticultural industries are gearing up for autumn deliveries of pots, trays and assorted containers. FDA sanctioned GPPS repro, black, custom compounded sold at 65 cpp FOB Midwest around mid-month. That was a 15-cpp premium over generic black GPPS repro.

In the U.S. domestic prime PS market, HIPS fell from $1.12/lb to $1.11 in the second week of August.

For a free trial to the Repro/Regrind Resin Report or to see sample issues of all PCW reports visit the PetroChem Wire website at www.petrochemwire.com. You can also contact Cindy Bryan at cindy@petrochemwire.com or (713) 385-1407.

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NewsBits

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 14:58
NewsBits

Aug. 27, 2014

Outdoor products company The North Face has made an about-face move to use only 100 percent recycled polyester in its fabric by 2016. Polyester currently makes up for 80 percent of the material used in company fabric — in 2013, fabric manufactured by The North Face contained an average of 7 percent recycled content.

In its annual report on the industry, the Flexible Packaging Association says 2014 is expected to be another year of growth. According to the group, the flexible packaging industry will grow by almost 4 percent this year into a $28.2 billion business — further evidence that recycling challenges for the packaging are not going away anytime soon.

Austin's curbside recycling program will begin accepting hard plastics, including bulky items such as lawn chairs and laundry baskets. City residents will still be asked to throw out some harder-to-recycle plastics — "Only hard plastics are accepted; plastic foam, plastic bags, and plastic wrap are not allowed," the notice points out.

 

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Dr Pepper reports on recycling and lightweighting

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 17:42
Dr Pepper reports on recycling and lightweighting

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 22, 2014

Dr Pepper Snapple Group says its sustainability efforts are being done "with flavor" and reports that recycling initiatives continue to grow.

The company's recenlty issued "We Do Things with Flavor: 2014 Sustainability Report" provides 2013 data on manufacturing recycling and offers an update on the beverage maker's attempts to drive municipal recycling of its packaging.

According to the latest figures, Dr Pepper recycled 85 percent of its manufacturing waste in 2013.

"Improvements were achieved through thorough examinations of each site's total waste stream, not just PET and aluminum," the report reads.

The 85 percent mark represents a three percentage point increase from 2012's rate. In addition, the company appears to be on track to meet a 2015 goal of recycling 90 percent of manufacturing waste.

Outside of internal manufacturing recycling efforts, Dr Pepper points to a total of $600,000 in funding given out to Keep America Beautiful (KAB) since 2013 to help "support consumers and communities in their recycling efforts." Those funds have been used to fund public space recycling bins deployed by KAB and its affiliates across the country. Beverage giant Coca-Cola has engaged in a similar partner with KAB for almost a decade.

Since 2007, Dr Pepper says, it's cut down on PET consumption by 60.7 million pounds due to lightweighting efforts. With the "lightest 2-liter bottle in the industry," Dr. Pepper is "continuing to investigate new technology and supply options for lowering our PET use," the report states.

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2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: Finalists announced

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 17:37
2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: Finalists announced

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 22, 2014

The organizers of the 2014 Recycling Innovators Forum have identified the eight proposals that are moving on to the final presentation stage as they compete for a combined $40,000 in cash prizes.

Complete information on each of the concepts and the individuals behind them can be found here. The competition is divided into two categories — Enterprise/Institution and Garage Innovator — and four finalists were selected on each side. The competition, which is in its second year, received more than 60 proposals.

The final presentation round will take place Monday, Sept. 15 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside during the first day of the Resource Recycling Conference. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception where all Innovators Forum presenters will be on-hand to answer questions and develop industry contacts.

To learn more and register for the Forum, click here.

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Will legislators push through bag ban in California?

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 17:31
Will legislators push through bag ban in California?

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 22, 2014

The latest attempt to ban plastic checkout bags in California appears headed for a late-inning legislative vote.

After being approved by the state's Assembly Appropriations Committee on Aug. 14, SB 270 is expected to be taken up by state legislators before the 2014 legislature adjourns Aug. 28. The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla earlier this year, will need to gain 41 votes from the 80-member state Assembly and 21 votes from the 40 member state Senate before that deadline.

The Assembly would vote first on the bill. If it passes in that chamber, it would move to the Senate for consideration.

California lawmakers have twice voted down similar efforts — in 2010 and 2013.

The current bill calls for a statewide ban on plastic checkout bags and initiates a minimum 10-cent charge for reusable or paper bags offered at grocery and convenience stores. Opponents of the measure claim the law would bring about numerous detriments.

"The Assembly Appropriations Committee has made a shortsighted decision in supporting a bill that will hurt the environment, consumers and workers," Lee Califf, executive director of the SPI-funded American Progressive Bag Alliance, said in a statement. "This decision is a direct threat to the jobs of the nearly 2,000 hard-working Californians employed by the state’s plastic bag manufacturing and recycling industry."

To help respond to such criticism, Padilla's measure cordons off $2 million in one-time loans from an existing state loan fund, the Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ), to provide bag makers support in switching over to a reusable bag-focused enterprise, John Mann, Padilla's communications director, told Plastics Recycling Update.

"The $2 million will be made available for the specific purposes as stated in the bill," Mann explained. "Additionally, any funds from the $2 million that are not disbursed will be placed back in the fund after one fiscal year."

Any loan given out through the RMDZ program will be contingent upon the recipient retaining any manufacturing employees they would otherwise have to let go of due to ripple effects of a bag ban.

Mark Murray, who serves as the executive director of Californians Against Waste, an outspoken supporter of the legislation, said Padilla's bill is just one vote shy of a lock in the state Assembly.

"It's going to be a close vote, but there's growing confidence that there will be 41 votes in the Assembly and we're pretty assured there will be 21 votes in the state Senate," Murray said.

The two legislators identified by Murray as key but undecided votes in the Assembly – Steven Bradford and Shirley Weber — both voted in favor of advancing the bill out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Bradford's press secretary, Matt Stauffer, was noncommittal when asked whether Bradford would support the measure once it heads to the full Assembly floor.

"Bradford voted yes on SB 270 when it came before the Appropriations committee," Stauffer stated. "He will be studying the debate as it goes to the floor, but I can’t say what his vote will be until he casts it."

Weber, whose San Diego County held off on passing an ordinance of its own, has not publicly stated whether or not she will back the bill. Her press contact, Joe Kocurek, did not return a request for comment on the issue.

If a statewide bill is passed, it would not affect the 116 local ordinances already in place. Those ordinances, which touch major California populations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, would continue as laws of their own. About one-third of California residents live in municipalities or counties with bag ban ordinances in place.

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Scrap plastics export figures up significantly from year ago

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 17:27
Scrap plastics export figures up significantly from year ago

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 22, 2014

In our monthly look at exports of scrap materials, the first half of 2014 has shown a rebound from Green Fence-era levels in the plastics realm.

June saw a 4.7 percent decline from May 2014 export levels, with 405.26 million pounds of material exported in June 2014. But when matched against Green Fence-influenced June 2013 levels, the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 23.2 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in June, at 19.36 cents per pound, was down by 2.1 percent from its May 2014 standing of 19.78 cents per pound. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 4.3 percent.

At 2.32 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported in 2014 through June was up 14.3 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.66 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first half of 2014 was down 3.5 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

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Colleges set sights on football fans' plastic discards

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 17:19
Colleges set sights on football fans' plastic discards

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 22, 2014

The GameDay Recycling Challenge, an annual materials diversion competition, has opened up its registration process for the 2014 season.

That means some of the largest colleges and universities in the country will be battling at the bin again this fall as they attempt to collect plastics and other recyclables.

The GameDay concept asks each participating school to pick one, or more, of its football team's home games and to track how much material goes into recycling or compost receptacles at stadiums and tailgate areas.

Plastic containers of all shapes and sizes are typically a big draw for the gameday recycling events.

Schools compete against their conference rivals in categories such as total amount diverted and recycling rate, and national winners are recognized at the end of the season.

Nearly 90 colleges and universities participated in the GameDay competition last year, an effort that led to 1.46 million pounds of material being diverted from landfill.

The competition is managed by CURC, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Wastewise Program, Keep America Beautiful and RecycleMania, Inc.

Interested schools can register for the 2014 edition here.


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PetroChem Wire: Recycled HDPE prices steady in August

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 17:15
PetroChem Wire: Recycled HDPE prices steady in August

Aug. 22, 2014

HDPE fractional melt post-consumer dairy pellets were steady in the first half of August at 84 to 87 cents per pound FOB Eastern U.S. locations, following sharp price rises in response to thin natural scrap bale supply.

These higher prices encouraged some buyers to seek alternative materials. Early/mid-month, one HDPE natural end-user reported buying railcars of wide-spec HDPE dairy prime material at 77 cents per pound delivered to the Midwest.

Prices for U.S. Gulf prime spot blow mold HDPE rose a bit in the first half of August from 79 cents per pound on July 31 to 80 cents per pound on Aug. 14.

For a free trial to the Repro/Regrind Resin Report or to see sample issues of all PCW reports visit the PetroChem Wire website at www.petrochemwire.com. You can also contact Cindy Bryan at cindy@petrochemwire.com or (713) 385-1407.

 

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NewsBits

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 17:11
NewsBits

Aug. 22, 2014

PET production capacity is rapidly outpacing demand for PET worldwide. David Swift, managing director of PCI PET Packaging, Resin & Recycling, recently told attendees at the Latin America PET Markets conference demand for PET will grow annually by about 1.1 million tons while production capacity will grow by 5.5 million tons in 2014 alone — this trend could push prices downward for both prime PET and recycled PET resins.

The Green Biz blog recently took an in-depth look at the Closed Loop Fund, the Walmart-headed public-private effort that has committed to investing $100 million in municipal recycling. One new piece of information about the Fund the article uncovers: An independent "investment committee" with representatives from the recycling, environment, finance and municipal spheres will give the final approval on whether a proposed project will get Closed Loop dollars.

Plastics-to-oil technology company Agilyx will continue to work on a pilot project capturing a California city's hard-to-recycle plastics for conversion into oil. Questions about the project — which is sponsored by Dow Chemical, Republic Services and the Flexible Packaging Association — were raised when Waste Management closed its Agilyx-powered plastics-to-oil plant in Portland this summer, citing a need for newer technology currently in development stages at Agilyx's Oregon headquarters.

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Will Congress push for higher recycled plastic content?

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 22:06
Will Congress push for higher recycled plastic content?

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 13, 2014

A bill recently introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives aims to up the national recycling rate by requiring manufacturers to use more recycled materials in their products.

Introduced July 30 by Mike Honda, a Democrat representing California's 17th District in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Land Based Marine Debris Reduction Act of 2014 would give the U.S. EPA the authority to "to require the manufacturer of the product or packaging to use recovered materials of that or another category in the product or packaging." These new regulations would go toward achieving a 50 percent national recycling rate by 2020 and a 65 percent recycling rate by 2030, according to the bill, and lead to reductions in landfilling and littering.

"Making people aware of the problem is the first step," Rep. Honda said in a press release. "The second is letting people know they can be part of the solution. By encouraging industry to use more recycled materials, we safeguard the sustainable use of our precious natural resources."

Chaz Miller, the director of policy and advocacy at the National Waste & Recycling Association, framed Honda's municipal solid waste (MSW) legislation in historical terms. "This is the first MSW recycling bill to be introduced on the Hill in 20 years," Miller said. "It's a statement from Congress to get the U.S. EPA to focus on MSW," Miller said.

He also noted that the recycling rate goals attached to the legislation are "aspirational." Just to get close to a 50 percent recycling rate, Miller stressed, U.S. residents would need to recycle 100 percent of product packaging generated, a fact that demonstrates the high level of organics in the MSW stream.

Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), issued a statement to Plastics Recycling Update regarding the legislation.

"ISRI commends Congressman Honda for his efforts to keep recyclable materials, including product packaging, out of solid waste landfills and waterways," Wiener stated. "Directing these materials to recycling facilities where they can be recycled into secondary raw materials used to make new products is good for the environment and creates jobs. The recycling industry is committed to working with Rep. Honda, his staff and others to strengthen this legislation to better differentiate between recyclables and solid waste and in other areas to help it meet its intended goals."

The bill, which Miller said likely will not be taken up until next year, has been referred to the influential Committee on Energy & Commerce (E&C), a 54-member group made up of 30 Republicans and 24 Democrats. It will likely head to the E&C subcommittee on the Environment and Energy, led by Illinois Republican John Shimkus.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The export effect

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 22:02
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The export effect

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 13, 2014

A year after the peak of China's Green Fence customs crackdown, plenty of questions remain when it comes to the movement of recovered plastics. Are recycling operations finding new domestic end market opportunities or sticking with the same foreign destinations? Will Chinese plastics processors set up facilities in the U.S.? What's the role of energy recovery technologies?

At this September's Resource Recycling Conference, attendees will get some answers to those plastic puzzlers. SPI's Recycling Committee has been exploring the complex relationship of export markets and the domestic plastics recycling industry, and industry expert Kim Holmes will share the results of this critical research.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.

Also, be sure to act now to book your hotel room and ensure the discounted conference rate of $139 plus taxes for single/double occupancy. This offer expires Aug. 25 — book fast to save your cash.


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KW Plastics' recycled PP approved for direct food contact

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 21:58
KW Plastics' recycled PP approved for direct food contact

By Dan Leif, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 13, 2014

Alabama-based KW Plastics will likely be increasing its consumption of recovered polypropylene after receiving a non-objection letter (NOL) that expands allowable usage of a post-consumer resin made by the firm.

The copolymer polypropylene resin had previously received an NOL from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in food contact crates and pallets. That letter was received last September.

The latest NOL allows the material to be used for the manufacture of items including disposable cutlery, soup containers and hot and cold drink cups.

"The tote and crate market was our first step," said Scott Saunders, general manager of KW Plastic Recycling Division. "As we got involved in those applications, customers said, 'What about cutlery and some of these other applications?' We reviewed the data with our technical people and felt we would qualify and, in fact, we did qualify."

Saunders praised the company's analytical team for moving quickly to gain the expanded FDA approval. "Achieving our second FDA NOL within 12 months is a testament to the investment and research KW Plastics commits to growing our industry,” he said.

According to the company's website, KW is the world's largest reprocessor of HDPE and PP resins. The firm, which operates a facility in California in addition to its Alabama headquarters, supplies post-consumer resins to the following industries: agriculture, automotive, beauty and personal care packaging, paint and coatings packaging, pipe, and sheet.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled HoPP prices show summer strength

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 21:56
PetroChem Wire: Recycled HoPP prices show summer strength

Aug. 13, 2014

U.S. East Coast prices for recycled HoPP held steady in early August, having made overall gains since early July.

HoPP black pellets were at 55 to 57 cents per pound in the first week of August, up from 51 to 52 cents per pound at the beginning of July. Similarly, HoPP mixed-color pellets were at 54 to 56 cents per pound the first full week of August, up from 50 to 52 cents per pound the first few weeks of July.

Flake prices for the same grades of HoPP were also higher in August than July, though by a slightly smaller margin.

Prime HoPP, which was steady around 79.5 to 80 cents per pound for most of July was closer to 81.5 to 82 cents per pound in early August.

For a free trial to the Weekly Recycled Plastics Report or to see sample issues of all PCW reports visit the PetroChem Wire website at www.petrochemwire.com. You can also contact Cindy Bryan at cindy@petrochemwire.com or (713) 385-1407

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Wide world of plastics recycling

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 21:50
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 13, 2014

New Zealand's government is aiming to keep more recovered plastics within its borders and has pumped millions into a PET recycling project. That's just one development we cover in this week's global look at the industry.

New Zealand's Waste Minimisation Fund has awarded $4 million (US$3.38 million) to a plastics recycling venture that will capture PET and recycle it back into food grade packaging. The project is the first of its kind in New Zealand and will be able to cut down on PET exports, most of which go to Asia, by about 50 percent.

A new recycling facility in Bulgaria will target the nation's polyethylene (PE) waste stream. The plant, run by Megaport, is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment that can process about 4,000 pounds of PE per hour to produce approximately 2,650 pounds of PE granulate primed for reuse.

An public-space recycling push in Wales has led to the collection of roughly 550 tons of material since late 2012. The government-funded effort has brought more than 1500 bins to 156 sites across the country.

More recycled-content rail ties are heading to Australia following a $471,000 purchase order netted by AXION, the publicly traded firm that produces the items. The most recent announcement from the Zanesville, Ohio-based company follows a string of purchase orders from abroad, including Russian and Chinese contracts and one to outfit a major transit system in Europe.

 

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