Plastics Recycling Update Magazine

Updated: 7 hours 4 min ago

U.K. flexible film project 'making significant progress'

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 09:36
U.K. flexible film project 'making significant progress'

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 1, 2015

A group behind an initiative addressing the recyclability of flexible films has indicated it's on the right path.

Launched six months ago, the Axion Consulting-led effort has developed a potentially recyclable multi-layer packaging. The project is called Reflex.

"We are making significant progress," project leader and Axion Consulting engineer Richard McKinlay stated in a company press release. "We have taken multi-layer packaging structures that currently use incompatible polymers and we have redesigned them using polymers which can potentially be recycled together."

The Reflex project is supported by a government grant from Innovate U.K. and funds from major packaging and recycling stakeholders.

According to Reflex's website, flexible film, a broad material category that includes plastic films and pouches, accounts for roughly a third of plastic packaging used in the U.K. Virtually all of it is being landfilled, project leaders have indicated.

Reflex representatives believe near infrared (NIR) sortation can be better utilized to sort flexible packaging.

"We think existing NIR technology is capable of doing a lot more sophisticated sorting," McKinlay said in the release. "Just as importantly, future research will also be concentrating on how to make recyclable packaging more readily identifiable by automated sorting equipment."

The project's next step will focus on reprocessing flexible packaging for use in new products. If successful, the project expects flexible film packaging will reach a 50 percent diversion rate within the next 10 years.

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ACC indicates optimism for mixed-waste processing

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 09:36
ACC indicates optimism for mixed-waste processing

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 1, 2015

A recent paper from a major plastics group finds there are both pros and cons to the "all in one bin" recycling collection and processing approach.

"There are key tradeoffs that that need to be analyzed as part of assessing mixed-waste processing," the report, commissioned by the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), concludes. "The technology promises to deliver more volume of recycled materials but potentially with a lower unit value for some materials because of contamination."

Research for the report was conducted by Gershman, Brickner & Bratton (GBB).

The mixed-waste processing approach, which has been challenged by the the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and The Recycling Partnership, among others, forgoes residential source-separation of recyclables and uses mixed-waste processing facilities to extract recyclables and organics directly from municipal solid waste.

Mixed-waste processing has been in the spotlight recently, with a $45 million facility planned in Indianapolis and talk of a similar venture ongoing in Houston. A mixed-waste processing facility opened in Montgomery, Ala. last year. Such operations are sometimes called dirty MRFs.

"The goal of diverting more materials from the waste stream to higher uses compels us to explore all options," Craig Cookson, director of sustainability and recycling for ACC’s Plastics Division, said in a press release announcing the study's release. "As the waste stream continues to evolve, we must consider new strategies and innovations that could help us to meet these challenges."

The GBB study, which can be read in its entirety here, suggests modern, "highly automated" mixed-waste processing could be capable of unlocking higher overall diversion rates than some single-stream programs. The quality of the recyclables recovered from MSW, however, remains a question.

"Until there is better publicly available data or testimonials from buyers of the materials, it will remain a challenge to evaluate newer [mixed-waste facilities]," the report cautions.

Study authors completed a waste characterization study for Fort Worth, Texas and estimated the City could push its diversion rate, currently at 19 percent under a single-stream program, to as high as 46 percent under a mixed-waste processing system that also diverts organics.

According to the characterization study, 28 percent of overall MSW currently makes it into Fort Worth recycling bins. Of that total, 67 percent ends up being recovered at a single-stream MRF, resulting in an estimated 19 percent recovery rate. No organics are recovered.

Under a mixed-waste system, GBB found, theoretically 100 percent of Fort Worth's MSW would reach a modernized mixed-waste processing center. The study suggests a 70 percent recovery rate for organics under that system and an overall diversion rate of 46 percent for the municipality. "It should be noted that these numbers are from an equipment manufacturer with recent experience with these modern [mixed-waste processing] facilities," the report notes.

The study also determined that if the city's current single-stream program were paired with a mixed-waste facility to process trash, the recovery rate could jump to 54 percent.

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New York City EPS ban takes effect

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 09:36
New York City EPS ban takes effect

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 1, 2015

The Big Apple's big shift in food-service packaging begins today.

New York City's much-publicized ban on expanded polystyrene food-service products is officially going into effect, though restaurants and other businesses will have a six-month grace period before the city begins issuing fines to violators.

In addition to cups, plates and take-out containers, the ban also applies to packing peanuts (but not to foam blocks used to protect non-food products).

Meanwhile, the Restaurant Action Alliance NYC, a group led by foam manufacturer Dart Container Corp., has continued to fight the ban. A legal petition filed on April 28 claims Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration violated a city law requiring the city establish a recycling system for EPS if doing so was economically and environmentally feasible.

In early January, the administration stated it believed EPS could not be recycled in a cost-effective manner, and it approved a ban.

The restaurant group says the lawsuit is pending.

"We are confounded by the city’s unwillingness to listen to reason and their false claims," Robert Jackson with the Restaurant Action Alliance told Plastics Recycling Update. "Here’s the truth that the city won’t admit: foam is 100 percent recyclable. We will continue to fight the ban."

For one major retailer, polypropylene is the replacement of choice.

Dunkin' Donuts will switch all of its iconic foam cups at the more than 500 locations it has in New York City to polypropylene cups. The PP cup was already available at many of the New York City locations. The new Versalite-branded cups are made by Evansville, Ind.-based Berry Plastics, which received a letter from KW Plastics indicating the material is as recyclable as any other polypropylene cup in the recycling stream.

Dunkin' Donuts has been looking to replace its EPS cup at all locations and has tested a doubled-walled fiber cup and the PP cup. So far, it's leaning toward the PP cup but is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.

The New York City Department of Education has shifted toward fiber, instead of plastic. School cafeterias have already replaced foam trays with compostable plates.

The following larger cities have also banned EPS: Minneapolis; Oakland, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

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PetroChem Wire: Demand pushes up recycled PP prices

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 09:35
PetroChem Wire: Demand pushes up recycled PP prices

July 1, 2015

CoPP and HoPP injection grade regrind prices rose in the past week, bolstered by healthy demand, particularly from Midwest buyers.

Truckloads of HoPP mixed-color flake were done at 45 cents per pound delivered Midwest (43 cents per pound FOB). HoPP pellets (non-FDA) were confirmed sold at 50 cents per pound FOB Midwest, and pellet prices were steady both on the East Coast and in the Midwest. In the scrap market, clean PP super sacks were offered at 15 cents per pound FOB Houston.

Generic prime HoPP from resellers ended last week on June 26 unchanged, remaining at 62 to 65 cents per pound railcar delivered. Generic prime impact CoPP was unchanged at 63 to 66 cents per pound.

In the secondary market, off-grade HoPP and CoPP sales were done recently at the mid 60 cents per pound level delivered railcar. Demand for off-grade and recycled material has been strong as end users looked to replace the generic prime that was unavailable.

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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Vermont bans disposal of PET, HDPE

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 09:35
Vermont bans disposal of PET, HDPE

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 1, 2015

Vermont residents who toss PET and HDPE containers into the trash are breaking the law as of today.

Those are two of the recyclable materials banned from disposal starting July 1, 2015, under the Vermont universal recycling law, a piece of legislation that was signed in 2012 and aims to increase diversion rates.

Haulers are now required to collect the recyclable materials and public entities are required to provide recycling receptacles in public spaces wherever garbage cans are located.

On the billing front, haulers were required to implement pay-as-you-throw rate structures by July 1, 2015, to further encourage diversion efforts.

The small state of 627,000 people has one landfill. Lawmakers unanimously passed the recycling bill in 2012 with an eye partly toward preserving the landfill's life. The state's current diversion rate is about 33 percent; it's goal is 60 percent, according to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR).

The ANR and local solid waste districts will have enforcement authority under the law. "However, education and outreach will be the initial method of implementing universal recycling," according to the agency.

Chittenden County, the most populous county in the state and home to the city of Burlington, already had a ban on disposal of recyclable materials in place. Its disposal ban included rigid plastic packaging and containers.

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Wide world of plastics recycling

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 09:34
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 1, 2015

Northern Ireland is considering implementing a beverage container deposit program, and a former soccer star in Cameroon is working to establish a plastics recycling facility there.

Northern Ireland is considering implementing a beverage container deposit program, according to letsecycle.com. The move comes as Scotland, another part of the U.K., considers the same step. Northern Ireland has about 1.8 million people, making it the smallest region of the U.K.

A for-profit startup in Kenya is recycling flip-flops found washed up on beaches into colorful animal sculptures and other products. The Nairobi-based Ocean Sole aims to collect and recycle 400,000 flip flops per year.

A former soccer star from Cameroon is working to set up a plastics recycling facility in the equatorial Africa country, according to APA. Roger Milla is working with his Coeur d'Afrique Foundation, a children's aid organization, to establish a facility in the country's capital of Yaounde that will train youths to mix recovered plastics with sand to make building materials.

The vice president of Ghana wants a public debate on a potential plastic bag ban. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur said recent flooding that claimed 150 lives and destroyed property was exacerbated by plastic bags clogging drains.

 

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NewsBits from Plastics Recycling Update

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 09:34
NewsBits

July 1, 2015

The town of Bowie, Md. has banned plastic bags from its curbside bins because they jam up the machinery at Waste Management's nearby MRF, according to the Capital Gazette. The change took effect today, and the City is encouraging residents to drop off bags at retailers with take-back programs.

The market for plastic bottle recycling is expected to grow an average of 3.7 percent each year over the period until 2019, according to a report. The analysis from Research and Markets indicates the market is "picking up the pace and is expected to grow at a steady rate in the near future, boosted by increased demand for recycled plastic bottles and growing environmental concerns."

Sheridan, Wyo. will launch a curbside recycling program that will accept plastics Nos. 1-7, among other materials. The Sheridan Press reports residents will start receiving 96-gallon bins in July. In 2013, the city had an 8.2 percent recycling rate.

During the first six months of 2014, JetBlue recycled 631 tons of materials at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to the company's sustainability report. That included 112 tons of plastics. The recycling program started in 2013, spurred by the efforts of crew members at Long Beach Airport in California.

 

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EPA: Plastics recovery rate inches above 9 percent in 2013

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:45
EPA: Plastics recovery rate inches above 9 percent in 2013

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

June 24, 2015

Despite increased recovery, plastics are making up a sizable chunk of material heading to landfill and incineration in America, according to the recently released U.S. EPA report on municipal solid waste.

The EPA's report on 2013 materials management activity indicates 32.5 million tons of plastics entered the U.S. waste stream during 2013. Of that total, 3 million tons were recycled, 7 percent more than 2012's haul of 2.8 million tons. That resulted in a record-high recovery rate of 9.2 percent after reaching 8.8 percent in 2012.

The statistics also show that the U.S. generated 167 million tons of material discards after recycling and composting. Of that material, 17.7 percent was plastic. The only major material category making up a higher percentage of discards was food, which accounted for 21.1 percent of disposal after recycling and composting.

Increasing the recovery rate for plastics has been a unique challenge, said Steve Alexander, the executive director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers. Plastics generation was up almost 2 percent between 2012 and 2013 – and was up 27 percent since 2000.

"Growing the [recovery] rate as the denominator is growing is tough, but it's also a nice problem to have because it means there is a sizeable opportunity in plastics recycling," Alexander said.

The recovery rate for the plastics containers and packaging category as a whole reached nearly 15 percent in 2013, according to the EPA data. The PET bottle and jar rate grew to above 31 percent – evidence of the resin's "vigorous growth," Alexander says – while clear HDPE bottles had a recovery rate around 28 percent.

Beyond PET and HDPE containers, packaging made from No. 7 plastics had a recovery rate of 18 percent in 2013 and bags, sacks and wraps recovery continued to grow, reaching 13.5 percent. The 2012 recovery rate for bags, sacks and wraps was 11.5 percent.

The data also point to an increasingly plastics-heavy material stream. As plastics usage has skyrocketed since 2000, it has replaced paper and glass. Paper generation has fallen by nearly 22 percent in those 13 years while glass generation has fallen by about 10 percent.

Keefe Harrison, the executive director of the Recycling Partnership, says her group has observed the shift first-hand.

"Anecdotally, we know there's less paper, less glass and more plastic out there," Harrison said.

It's what the industry has referred to as the evolving ton, and Alexander from APR says it's imperative the industry finds markets for the growing variety of plastics being discarded.

In the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division report, “Making Sense of the Mix: Analysis and Implications for the Changing Curbside Recycling Stream," research done by Resource Recycling also found that more plastics in the curbside bin are helping create opportunities for plastics recyclers. Alexander says that the industry is responding.

"Finding quantities of items of specific plastic types to achieve the critical economic mass is a challenge," Alexander stated. "We are gaining on that problem."

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Oregon EPS ban leaves room for recycling

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:45
Oregon EPS ban leaves room for recycling

By Jared Paben, Plastics Recycling Update

June 24, 2015

Oregon school districts must phase out the use of expanded polystyrene in their cafeterias, unless the district participates in a foam-recycling program.

A new law requires school districts using EPS to develop plans to phase out the material by July 1, 2021, when the legislation goes into effect.

School districts that participate in a recycling program would be exempt from the ban, and others could get a deadline extension if they show complying with the law would inflict financial hardship.

Democratic Rep. Rob Nosse, who sponsored the legislation, said the idea behind the bill was first brought to him by students at Portland's Sunnyside Elementary School, who presented to legislators.

Some of the largest school districts in the U.S. recently announced they were switching from EPS plates to compostable fiber items. That move affects an estimated 2 million students.

The Oregon bill originally imposed a ban without an exemption for districts with recycling programs, but the House Committee on Energy and Environmental amended the legislation to include the exemption. The American Chemistry Council helped draft the amendment.

At a March 10 hearing, Matt Marquis, a lobbyist for the American Chemistry Council, spoke in favor of the amendment.

"We feel this is a good alternative for those districts that may want to look at recycling," he said., "There are a number of school districts across the county that have implemented these programs and not only has it helped with cost savings but it's also created some educational programs around the ways to recycle."

The legislation doesn't define any specific requirements of a qualifying recycling program but says the State Board of Education can adopt rules necessary to administer the law.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on June 16 signed HB 2762, which passed the House of Representatives in a 47-10 vote and the Senate in a 25-3 vote.

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Plastics make up 13 percent of Austin's household garbage stream

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:44
Plastics make up 13 percent of Austin's household garbage stream

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 24, 2015

Residents in Texas' capital threw away nearly twice as much plastic as they recycled via curbside bins last year, according to an estimate from the city.

And plastics made up roughly 13 percent of Austin's residential garbage stream, although not all that material would have been recoverable had it been sent to a materials recovery facility.

The numbers come from a residential-waste characterization study exploring the composition of material collected at the curb in Austin. The study was conducted by consulting firm CB&I Environmental and Infrastructure for the city's waste management arm, Austin Resource Recovery.

"The CB&I City-­Serviced Residential Waste Characterization Study offers a stark view of the 'waste' discarded into the residential trash carts," Bob Gedert, Austin Resource Recovery director, wrote in a summary. "Of the residential trash sent to the landfill, 44.8 percent is recyclables and 46.3 percent is organics. This study demonstrates that 90 percent of what is sent to the landfill can be diverted toward recycling and organic composting."

The city's goal is a 50 percent diversion rate by December of this year; it's current curbside diversion rate is about 40 percent.

An estimated 14,661 tons of plastics were landfilled in 2014, compared to 7,845 tons sent to a materials recovery facility, according to the study. Of the residential garbage stream, about 13 percent was plastics, made up of the following:

  • PET: 1.5 percent of residential garbage stream (1,718 tons)
  • HDPE: 1 percent (1,145 tons)
  • Single-use plastic bags: 0.5 percent (573 tons)
  • Rigid plastics: 3 percent (3,436 tons)
  • Other plastics: 6.8 percent (7,789 tons)

The study noted that some of the above wouldn't be recoverable, even if it landed in the recycling bin. It also noted that rigid plastics, which included items such as buckets, children's toys, lawn chairs and laundry baskets, were also only recently added to the recycling program. Significantly more rigid plastics were thrown in the trash than were recycled in 2014.

Austin's ban on plastic shopping bags took effect in early 2013.

Among the recommendations, the study's authors suggested boosting public outreach efforts to reduce the amount of potentially recoverable materials landing in the landfill.

"The results of this study have been discussed with staff, and a new incentive outreach campaign is being designed and will roll ­out in November 2015 on America Recycles Day," Gedert wrote in response.

For the study, crews analyzed various loads of garbage and recyclable materials during the 2014 fiscal year.

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Scrap plastics exports grow again in April

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:44
Scrap plastics exports grow again in April

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 24, 2015

Export of scrap plastics saw a second straight month of rising levels, though cumulative 2015 numbers still lag those of a year ago.

Scrap plastics exports in April, the most recent month for which data is available, were 7.9 percent higher than March 2015 export levels, with 449.60 million pounds of scrap plastics exported in April 2015. When matched against April 2014 levels, the volume of plastic scrap exports was also up – by 13.1 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports was flat in April. At 18.36 cents per pound, the price was up just 0.7 percent from its March 2015 standing. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 9.8 percent.

Through April, at 1.45 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was down 3.4 percent from its 2014 year-to-date (YTD) figure.

At 19.71 cents per pound, the average price through April was also down, by 6.0 percent, from its 2014 YTD standing.

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PetroChem Wire: Post-consumer rPET prices strengthen

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:44
PetroChem Wire: Post-consumer rPET prices strengthen

June 24, 2015

U.S. prime PET spot prices followed feedstock prices upward. That action is resulting in firmer recycled PET prices in June.

Spot prime PET business was up a penny in mid-June at 66 to 68 cents per pound delivered Midwest by rail, for bottle grade, and producers announced increases of 2 to 4 cents per pound for July. Higher PTA and MEG prices and increased seasonal demand were cited as reasons for prime PET's price increase.

Recycled PET prices were up a penny per pound last week. For clear, FDA-approved pellets, business was done at 70 to 73 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast. Post-consumer flake material for clear and food-grade sheet was done at 49 to 50 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast.

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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Wide world of plastics recycling

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:43
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 24, 2015

A committee in the European Parliament voted in favor of a 2020 ban on landfilling and burning recyclable materials, and the African country of Malawi plans to ban thin plastic bags by the end of this month.

A committee of the European Parliament has voted in favor of an eventual ban on incineration and landfilling of recyclable materials. The parliament's Environment Committee voted to ask the European Commission to ban the incineration of recyclable materials by 2020, as part of the circular economy package the commission is drafting.

The country of Malawi will ban thin plastics bags (those with a thickness below 60 microns) by the end of this month. A ban had been delayed – but not halted – after the plastics manufacturing industry filed a lawsuit. Malawi is a landlocked country of more than 16 million people in southeastern Africa.

In Dharavi, India, the informal plastics recycling sector is struggling under the pressure of lower virgin oil prices, reports Plastics News. Even before a recent drop in prices for recycled plastics prices – one recycling company owner said the price he receives has dropped by half – the industry was feeling the squeeze from high electricity prices and a lack of available space in the densely packed slum.

Europe may need as many as 250 new sorting facilities and 300 new recycling plants if it plans to hit its target of recycling 60 percent of plastic packaging by 2025, according to a study. The report was released by Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE). PRE's president said the organization is supporting the European Commission as it drafts revised materials diversion goals.

 

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NewsBits from Plastics Recycling Update

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 10:39
NewsBits

June 24, 2015

Starting August 1, bans on thin plastic bags go into effect in the cities of Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. In Chicago, stores larger than 10,000 square feet will be prohibited from providing plastic bags starting August 1, and smaller stores will be prohibited from providing them a year from then. The Chicago law does not apply to restaurants. Evanston's law mirror's Chicago's except it doesn't restrict stores smaller than 10,000 square feet from providing the bags. Meanwhile, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, home to the capital of Honolulu, plastic bags will be banned islandwide starting July 1, 2015.

Recently released data from the Canadian government suggests plastics diversion grew by about 2 percent between 2010 and 2012. A little more than 351,000 tons of plastics were diverted in 2012 compared with 345,000 tons in 2010.

These days, when people have a question, they often turn to a Google search. Now, Google has compiled information related to searches around the world to show a glimpse into what different countries are asking related to recycling, energy, global warming and more. For example, the app showed Parisians have commonly asked, "Where to recycle Brita filters in Paris."

Packaging manufacturer Novolex is up for sale, according to Reuters. Novolex, owned by a Chicago-based private equity firm, previously purchased Hilex Poly, the world's biggest plastic bag manufacturer. The company has what it calls the world's biggest plastic bag-to-bag recycling facility in Indiana.

 

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Montreal APR meeting highlights outreach efforts

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:59
Montreal APR meeting highlights outreach efforts

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

The largest-ever Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers meeting located outside of the U.S. was held last week in Montreal and drew 168 attendees. Numerous communication aims by APR were highlighted and updates from the group's various subcommittees were offered.

"We have two primary goals," APR'S executive director, Steve Alexander, said at the general membership meeting, "increase supply of recovered plastics and decrease contamination, which, of course, helps that first goal."

To that end, the group emphasized several outreach and educational efforts developed to reach all members of the plastics value chain from the packaging producer and brand owner down to the reclaimer and recycling processor. From the top end of that chain, APR is pushing to have more recycling-friendly packaging and containers in the marketplace.

One such effort involves holding training events at brand-owner headquarters to educate and work with company executives and designers about key recycling issues and concerns, as well as present them with design tools such as the APR Design for Recyclability Guidelines. Several major brand owners have already either held or have scheduled such events, and continued outreach is being done by the group to engage other stakeholders.

It was also announced that APR's Design for Recyclability Guidelines are being overhauled to make them interactive and easier to use. The guidelines are also being updated to cover the issue of black or dark plastics in addition to size and shape of materials. The updated guidelines will be released in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The group announced a new effort, the APR Plastics Recycling Showcase, where the objective is to reward and highlight innovations in the plastics recycling space, such as benchmarks on the use of post-consumer resin (PCR), PCR product capability, recycling-friendly packaging and plastic materials, revamped bale quality levels and more. Details about the program will be offered in the coming weeks, said John Standish, APR's technical director.

Another initiative discussed is a form for reporting "problem containers," those containers that cause issues for materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and reclaimers. The form is now on every page of the APR website, and at the meeting the APR communications director, Kara Pochiro, encouraged members to use the tool.

As part of the report from the rigids committee, rigids program director Liz Bedard delivered an update surrounding the group's efforts to collect more grocery rigids, including a video (see below) produced in partnership with the American Chemistry Council and the Publix grocery store chain. The video, encouraging other national grocery chains to bale rigid plastics, such as buckets and tubs, is included on a website offering other tools and information for grocers.

Finally, the meeting also covered an online tool created specifically to show MRFs the value of many non-bottle rigids. The Sort for Value Online Calculator, developed by Moore Recycling Associates with APR, allows MRFs to either use benchmark or market-specific pricing to show the increased value of additional sortation for plastics in their facilities.

 

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Plastics Recycling 2016: Where the action never stops

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:58
Plastics Recycling 2016: Where the action never stops

June 17, 2015

If you've ever been to the Plastics Recycling Conference, you know the buzz. It's the feeling generated by more than 1,500 industry professionals building their businesses.

Don't be left out on around-the-clock industry connections. Start planning now to make sure your company or organization is well represented in New Orleans next February by checking out the sponsorship, exhibitor, workshop and attendee options available. Registration for all these conference components is open now.

Plastics Recycling 2016 is set for Feb. 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana. Head to plasticsrecycling.com to register and get all the facts on exhbiting and/or sponsoring at the plastic recycling industry's longest-running conference – now in its 11th year.

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UK industry responds as recycling target approaches

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:58
UK industry responds as recycling target approaches

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

The U.K. plastics industry has released a plan calling for major advances to comply with the government's target of recycling 57 percent of plastic packaging by 2017.

The Plastics Industry Action Plan calls on all stakeholders to take steps to help meet the target.

In 2013, about 787,050 tons of plastic packaging were recycled. If the government approves a revised estimate of 2.49 million tons of plastic packaging put on the market in 2013, the recycling rate would have been 32 percent for 2013.

"Without the full engagement, therefore, of all stakeholders, including national and local government, the waste management sector, recyclers, compliance schemes and obligated users, producers and converters, these targets will prove extremely challenging to meet," according to the report.

An estimate by U.K. recycling group WRAP and compliance firm Valpak suggests it could take until past the year 2020 to meet the 57 percent target, according to the report.

"In view of this, government is currently consulting on whether the present obligated target should be revised down to meet the original policy intent of 42 percent and to extend the timeline to achieve this," according to the report.

Meanwhile, the industry plan calls on stakeholders to take a variety of steps to increase plastics recovery, including the removal of regulatory barriers by government, expansion of materials accepted at the curb and improvements in bale quality at materials recovery facilities.

The plan was created by WRAP and Plastics 2020, which is a group made up of PlasticsEurope, the British Plastics Federation and the Packaging and Films Association.

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Major Coca-Cola bottler reports 34 percent rPET use

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:58
Major Coca-Cola bottler reports 34 percent rPET use

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

More than a third of the PET used by a Coca-Cola bottler in Europe last year was recycled content, according to a report. Another 27.8 percent was derived from plants.

That's according to a sustainability report from Coca-Cola Enterprises, a publicly traded bottler that is separate from Coca-Cola Co. but distributes brands from the beverage behemoth in eight Western European countries. Coca-Cola Co. itself hasn't released its 2014-15 sustainability report yet.

Overall in 2014, the company used an estimated 43,436 tons of recycled PET, or 34 percent of its PET, the report showed.

Coca-Cola Enterprises also reported on the status of its lightweighting efforts, which have been somewhat slowed by a shift toward smaller-sized soda options. The average packaging weight in 2014, including plastic and aluminum, was 20 percent less than in 2007, according to the report. The 2014 packaging weight was up slightly (0.4 percent) over the year before, however, "due to an increase in smaller packaging sizes, which has an adverse impact on our packaging use ratio," according to the report.

The bottler uses more PET than any other material. Of the 382,000 tons of packaging used in 2014, 33 percent was PET.

The company has worked to ensure a supply of recycled PET. It invested more than $12 million to create the Infineo recycling plant in France, a joint venture with APPE that generates enough recycled content to meet the company's needs in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, according to the report. The bottler has also created a long-term supply agreement with ECO Plastics in the U.K.

The company appears to be ahead of Cola-Cola Co. in using recycled content. According to Coca-Cola Co.'s 2013-14 sustainability report, which covers its operations around the world, the company was expecting to fall short of its 2015 goal of having 25 percent of its PET come from recycled or renewable sources, including its plant-derived PET PlantBottle product. It said 6 percent came from recycled or renewable sources.

Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is one of the world's largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers, serves Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

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Plasticity Forum explores smarter plastics possibilities

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:57
Plasticity Forum explores smarter plastics possibilities

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

More than 80 people gathered in Cascais, Portugal to attend the Plasticity Forum, an annual event focused on upstream solutions to the environmental problems caused by plastics.

The forum, held June 8-9, was organized by the nonprofit organization Ocean Recovery Alliance.

The event aimed to highlight "solutions for a world where plastic is used but without its current footprint," Ocean Recovery Alliance and Plasticity founder Doug Woodring stated in a press release.

This year's forum focused on "Designing for Circularity, and Opportunities in Action that Now Need Scale."

Keynote addresses were delivered by Steve Russell, vice president of the American Chemistry Council's Plastics Division; Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation; and Mike Biddle, founder and president of MBA Polymers.

The forum was first launched in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro and has since been held in New York and Hong Kong.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PS pellet prices soften

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:57
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PS pellet prices soften

June 17, 2015

Prices for recycled high-impact polystyrene and general-purpose polystyrene pellets fell in early June in response to weaker prime polystyrene prices.

In mid-June, HIPS white pellet was offered at 71 cents per pound and sold at 70 cents per pound FOB East Coast. Black HIPS pellet was offered at 67 cents per pound, FOB East Coast. Both were down 2 cents per pound from the beginning of June.

GPPS clear pellets, meanwhile, were 52 to 53 cents per pound, with GPPS white pellets at 50 to 52 cents per pound, also 2 cents per pound lower than prices at the start of the month.

In the prime polystyrene market, prices have been lowered 3 to 5 cents per pound in June in response to falling benzene costs.

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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