Plastics Recycling Update Magazine

Updated: 5 hours 37 min ago

Scrap plastics exports continue to see gains

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:48
Scrap plastics exports continue to see gains

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 24, 2014

Exports of recovered plastics for May 2014 rose in comparison to previous monthly results.

May scrap plastics exports saw a rise of 7.0 percent from April 2014 export levels, with 425.11 million pounds exported in May 2014, the most recent month for which data is available. When matched against May 2013 levels — when China's Operation Green Fence was just past its April peak — the volume of plastic scrap exports was also up, by 27.2 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in May, at 19.78 cents per pound, was down by 2.8 percent from its April 2014 standing of 20.36 cents per pound. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 6.6 percent.

Through May, at 1.92 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was up 12.7 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.73 cents per pound, however, the average price through May was down 3.2 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

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PetroChem Wire: Prime HDPE selling at discount to recycled

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:46
PetroChem Wire: Prime HDPE selling at discount to recycled

July 24, 2014

Recycled HDPE frac melt natural pellets held firm for the week ended July 18 at 80 to 84 cents per pound.

That was 5 to 6 cents per pound higher than wide-spec natural prime HDPE, which rose 2 cents per pound in the same time frame to 76 to 77 cents per pound FOB Midwest due to two plant force majeures. Tight HDPE natural scrap bale supply has driven natural repro prices to current high levels and resulted in its current, unusual relationship to prime material.

HDPE post-consumer frac-melt natural dairy regrind was up a penny during the week ended July 18 to 60 to 62 cents per pound on firm natural repro prices.

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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San Antonio prepares for curbside collection of plastic bags

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:43
San Antonio prepares for curbside collection of plastic bags

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

July 24, 2014

San Antonio, Texas is just nine days away from making an unconventional move: accepting single-use plastic bags in a curbside recycling program.

The city, which boasts a population of nearly 1.4 million people, included the service in a 10-year pact signed with ReCommunity Recycling last year. ReCommunity takes over San Antonio's curbside collection program Aug. 1 and plastic bags — as long as they're clean and packed together inside another bag — will be permitted in recycling bins.

"The plastic bag program that we are implementing in San Antonio is specifically designed to meet the City’s expressed desire to find a solution to recovering plastic bags as well as our overarching business strategy to always seek to recover more commodities from the recycling stream," said Will Herzog, ReCommunity's western region business development manager. "In partnership with the City of San Antonio, we believe this program can be a successful tool to increase recovery rates and decrease disposal volumes."

The "Bag Your Bags" program, Herzog noted, still stresses reuse among city residents. Herzog ceded the "most effective way" to recycle bags is to drop them off through grocery store take-back programs. But if residents opt to recycle them curbside, ReCommunity is prepared to collect and process them.

"As everyone knows, plastic bags are recyclable as long as they can be effectively recovered from the recycling stream," Herzog said.

Patty Moore of Moore Recycling Associates said a recent study indicates quite a few U.S. cities are collecting film, but she stressed curbside is not the preferred method for collecting bags. "Based on the [Plastic Film and Bag Recycling Collection National Reach] study completed in 2012, there are over 300 cities collecting film curbside," Moore said. "There are growing opportunities to collect film at more than 17,000 drop-off locations nationwide, which are mostly retail."

At the time of the contract negotiations between San Antonio and ReCommunity, a plastic bag ban ordinance was also being discussed as a means to cut down on plastic litter in the sprawling municipality. The emergence of the "Bag Your Bags" program appears to have quelled that debate, at least for now.

In the midst of the bag ban debate last summer, a City Council member estimated San Antonio was spending around $1.3 million to collect bags and minimize bag-related litter.

City representatives did not return a request for comment on the bag program.

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Advocates continue push to halt Indianapolis MRF

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:38
Advocates continue push to halt Indianapolis MRF

By Dan Leif, Plastics Recycling Update

July 24, 2014

Though the Indianapolis mayor's office has indicated a deal is done to bring a mixed-waste MRF to the city, opponents of the plan say the facility can still be stopped and that support for their cause is growing.

The office of the city's mayor, Greg Ballard, announced last month it had reached a deal with Covanta to construct a $45 million center to sort recyclables, including a wide range of plastics, from municipal solid waste. Such facilities are sometimes called "dirty MRFs" and they allow for collection systems in which residents throw trash and recyclables in one curbside receptacle.

However, the Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) and a member of the Indianapolis' city council say there's still time to stop the plan, which they argue was finalized without a full public vetting process and without considering other options for boosting recycling activity in the city of 820,000.

"The messaging on the Covanta deal from the mayor's office is, 'Don't worry we've got this done,'" said John Barth, an at-large member of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council. "That's not a good sustainable approach for the future of the city, to just go ahead and say, 'Throw everything away.'"

Barth, who chairs the council's community affairs committee, put the recycling issue on the agenda for the committee's July 22 meeting, offering residents and industry members an opportunity to voice concerns and discuss alternative proposals. Neither the committee nor city council has the authority to block the Covanta deal, but the hope is to generate enough outcry to grab the attention of the city's board of public works, the entity that must approve the project by vote if it is to move forward.

"What I'm hoping to do is create a forum where the public can really understand what we're doing here is making a generational decision without having significant public input," Barth said.

The public works board, which includes a number of members who were appointed by the mayor, has not scheduled a vote on the issue, but it had slated a meeting for this week where individuals on both sides of the debate would have opportunity for comment.

Consequently, the IRC has initiated a campaign to encourage residents and industry to reach out to the board with concerns. "The board of public works is allowing public testimony, which is not something they normally do," said Carey Hamilton, IRC's executive director. "It's a sign that people are being heard."

The Indianapolis mayor's office has argued the mixed-waste MRF is the best approach for a city that has experimented with different curbside offerings in the past but failed to see significant participation. Currently, Indianapolis residents can subscribe for curbside recyclables collection through individual haulers. "The Covanta proposal requires no funding from the government, no increased rates for taxpayers, and no government mandates being issued on the actions of the general public," said Marc Lotter, a spokesperson from the mayor's office.

If Covanta does get the green light, it will build its $45 million facility next door to its current waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in the Indianapolis area. The two operations would work in tandem, the company recently told Plastics Recycling Update, with unrecyclable materials headed to the WTE operation for conversion into energy.

A recent study from the American Chemistry Council pointed to plastics as a material primed for WTE processing in the event that it cannot be recycled. The U.S. EPA says the nation recycled just 8.8 percent of plastics generated in 2012.

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Wide world of plastics recycling

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:30
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 24, 2014

Can a single-use shopping bag act as a window to your soul? An artist in Korea offers up some plastic-based psychology. That story and other, slightly less avant garde updates are in our global wrap-up.

A Korean artist has one-upped Andy Warhol — at least as far as sustainability goes — by making Rorschach tests out of discarded plastic bags. Artist Kyung-Woo Han is modernizing Warhol's famous inkblot series by using plastic bags instead of paint. Perhaps the work aims to demonstrate there's more to trash than meets the eye?

Between now and 2019, the European market for biodegradable plastics is expected to grow by 12 percent, new research suggests. In addition to increasing consumer interest in alternatives to traditional plastic packaging, 2020 EU goals to cut the region's reliance on single-use plastic are expected to add to the rise in the biodegradable market.

German research firm Ceresana says the global market for plastic containers will keep on growing for at least the next several years. While many circumstances could get in the way of the such projections, the global market is expected to rise to nearly 50.1 million tons by 2021, with PET and PP containers in particular gaining steam.

Running counter to the idea that consumers are cutting down on plastic bag usage, the latest numbers out of the U.K. suggest bag use is up. According to waste prevention group WRAP, 8.3 billion plastic single-use bags were used in 2013, an increase of 3.2 percent since 2012, when 8.1 billion bags were used. While overall virgin polymer use is down 48 percent since 2006, 2013 also saw 5 percent more virgin resins used to make bags than in 2012.


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NewsBits

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 20:25
NewsBits

July 24, 2014

Approximately 53,780 plastic bottles are thrown out by New York City residents every hour. To make that knowledge more known, a design studio based in New York, Studio KCA, has erected a cloud-like sculpture using nearly 54,000 discarded bottles. The project is called "Heads in the Clouds" and after a brief stint at New York's Governors Island, the floating and rather graceful sculpture is looking for its next landing spot.

Denmark-based beer maker Carlsberg — the "European Budweiser," according to some &mdash is launching a new "upcycling" venture to capture and recycle more of its packaging. The endeavor will see Carlsberg collaborating with suppliers to achieve better diversion results for a host of materials, including plastic shrink wrap and PET-containing kegs.

Over at The Guardian, reporter Amy Wu discusses several "sustainable packaging mistakes" made by major companies throughout the world. Among the plastic-oriented snafus cited by Wu are toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes, which are "almost impossible" to recycle in many markets due to a host of complications.


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EU pushes for more PET recycling

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:40
EU pushes for more PET recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 16, 2014

Europe is making a push to increase recycled content in PET bottles.

Nearly $3 million will be spent during the course of the next three years to develop a technology to identify and sort PET bottles to be made into new bottles. The "Polymark" project consists of a host of plastics groups throughout Europe as well as the European Union itself. According to a press release, the EU will be contributing about two-thirds of the budget, or a little more than $2 million.

The challenge at hand is increasing the number of reclaimed PET beverage containers that are used to "close the loop" and manufacture new versions of the product. According to Polymark backers, only 30 percent of collected PET beverage containers are recycled into new bottles because beverage containers and other reclaimed PET materials, which may not be suitable for food packaging, often end up together after sortation. Current sorters have trouble identifying bottles ideal for recycling and reuse in new containers, thus producing a not-always-ample supply of recycled PET resin.

While the overall PET recycling rate among EU member countries reached 52 percent in 2012 — the U.S. PET recycling rate, for comparison, was at 30.8 percent — aggressive overall recycling rate goals for 2020 are pushing the industry to capitalize on readily recyclable materials. In addition, even loftier European recycling rate goals for 2030 may be on their way alongside potential landfill bans on recyclable packaging, including PET.

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Plastics Recycling 2015: Registration now open

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:37
Plastics Recycling 2015: Registration now open

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 16, 2014

It's time to secure your spot at Plastics Recycling 2015, the only North American conference that caters exclusively to plastics recycling. The conference is set for Feb. 23-25, 2015 in Dallas.

Plan to head to the Lone Star State to learn how to maintain and grow your business in the current economic climate from the leading experts in the field of plastics recovery and utilization. Industry gurus will present a range of info-packed presentations, including analyses of trends in the U.S. and Canada, plastics collection issues, recycling market factors, and legislative and policy considerations.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. The 2014 conference attracted more than 1,775 attendees from over 30 countries, so register now to ensure you'll be in on the action in February. Details on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring can be found at plasticsrecycling.com.

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Should more hard-to-recycle plastics go to WTE?

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:35
Should more hard-to-recycle plastics go to WTE?

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 16, 2014

A study backed by the American Chemistry Council suggests the U.S. may be wise to increase its use of waste-to-energy practices, especially when it comes to hard-to-recycle plastics.

The study, released by Columbia University's Earth Engineering Center and funded by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), takes a look at adjusted 2011 municipal solid waste (MSW) data from the U.S. EPA to estimate how much material is being landfilled and how much of it could go toward waste-to-energy (WTE) operations.

According to researchers, almost 247 million tons of MSW was landfilled in 2011, while 29.5 million tons was converted into energy.

The study suggests a large amount of plastics, especially films, is proving hard "to be economically recycled." Those plastics, researchers point out, could help fuel greater use of WTE operations across the U.S.

The 2011 figures indicate almost 83 percent of all discarded plastics – 32.5 million tons – went to landfill. WTE was the most popular diversion method, with a shade under 10 percent of plastics – 3.9 million tons – converted into energy. If all non-recycled plastics went to WTE operations, various environmental benefits would be wrought, the study says.

However, the research also finds capacity remains an issue in the WTE realm, with just Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire "close to attaining sustainable waste management by combining high rates of recycling with high WTE."

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Walmart, others put focus on plastic film recovery in Canada

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:32
Walmart, others put focus on plastic film recovery in Canada

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 16, 2014

A Canadian plastics group is launching a campaign with Walmart and SC Johnson to collect more of the nation's plastic bags and film for recycling.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association's partnership with the pair of corporate giants will aim to better develop and brand collection points for the plastic materials across Canada, according to a story in Canadian Plastics. The collection program will include grocery bags, sandwich bags, case wrap and other types of bags and film traditionally not recovered through curbside recycling.

SC Johnson manufactures the Ziploc brand of sandwich and storage bags, and the company recently launched a program called 30 Green Days Challenge to encourage consumers to make sustainability- and recycling-minded choices.

The Canadian effort follows a recently announced project from the American Chemistry Council and other stakeholders to increase plastic film collection in Wisconsin.


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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PP pricing steady in early July

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:30
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PP pricing steady in early July

July 16, 2014

Demand for CoPP black pellets was quiet in early July, with pricing steady around 61-62 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast. HoPP mixed colored flake material was offered at the beginning of the month at 42-43 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast, with very little buying interest seen.

In the U.S. domestic prime PP market, prices were stable in early July as the market digested news of a rollover of the July propylene contract. HoPP held at 79.5 cents per pound, while the CoPP remained at 81.5 cents per pound. Prime PP availability was tight as several suppliers were dealing with production issues or maintenance, and core business demand was strong.

One prime PP producer announced a 2-cents-per-pound increase, effective Aug. 1, in addition to any adjustments based on the PGP contract price. That followed an earlier announcement by another supplier, targeting a 4-cents-per-pound July increase.

Agreements for propylene contract prices were reached the second week of July with settlements at 67.5 cents per pound for polymer grade propylene.

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

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:26
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 16, 2014

Reverse vending machines in Australia offer bus tickets, food coupons and other unique rewards in exchange for plastic bottles. We offer details in our global look at plastics recovery.

Swiss PET bottle maker Sidel has introduced a new PET beer bottle that looks just like a traditional glass bottle but is 86 percent lighter. The bottle, which can be made in various sizes and features the customary crown bottle cap, will attempt to make headway in a globally glass-dependent market — just 2 percent of beer bottles are made out of PET, Sidel says.

In Sydney, Australia, citizens can now make use of a series of reverse vending machines that offer prizes instead of money, including bus tickets and food coupons. The effort is part of a citywide campaign to boost the recycling of beverage containers and reduce litter.

The latest reports on the impacts of China's Operation Green Fence show exports of scrap plastics from the U.K. to China were down 53 percent year-over-year last fall, a time when the customs crackdown was near its peak. U.S. plastics exports to China were down 18 percent during that same period.

A rigid plastics recycling program in Copenhagen appears to have exceeded its goals. Between 2011 and 2014, the "Plastic Zero" program led to just over 660 tons of hard plastics making their way from Denmark's capital to Germany for sorting and processing. That mark exceeded initial program goals by 18 percent.

While the recycling rate for PET among EU member countries may have reached 52 percent in 2012, an official at Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) says a more robust collection system is needed for HDPE and PP packaging. Herbert Snell, PRE's vice president, told attendees at last month's Plastics Recycling Expo in Telford, England that some countries have begun to see drops in HDPE and PP collection totals, which is a worrying signal as Europe's major recycling targets for 2020 approach.

 

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NewsBits

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:23
NewsBits

July 16, 2014

The roll-out of the Multi Material BC extended producer responsibility program in British Columbia seems to have caused some confusions over which plastics are now acceptable in curbside bins. Councilors in the municipality of North Cowichan, for example, recently expressed frustration over the fact that some plastic film packaging that used to be acceptable can no longer be included curbside.

Amusement parks SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have begun offering beverages in reusable and recyclable PET plastic cups made using Coca-Cola's PlantBottle technology, which builds PET resin partially from plant-based material. SeaWorld parks are located in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Florida, while Busch Gardens has locations in Tampa, Florida and Williamsburg, Virginia.

The 2015 Plastic Technologies Awards, an annual showcase organized by Italy-based Poli Design, will be putting particular focus on the recycling and disposal side of the industry. Winners will have their prototypes featured at the Plast 2015 conference next May. Entries are due by early November.

Dow's packaging and plastics division has launched a campaign called Recycle Rally, which aims to challenge consumers to sharpen their waste diversion skills over the course of 30 days.

 

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Massachusetts bottle bill "battle lines" drawn

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:22
Massachusetts bottle bill "battle lines" drawn

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

As expected, Massachusetts residents are going to have the final word on whether to expand the state's 33-year old bottle bill, and that may mean a public row between environmentalists and the beverage industry.

A state legislative subcommittee had until June 30 to reach a compromise that would appease both proponents and opponents of a bottle bill expansion. Supporters of the expansion wanted the bill to include non-carbonated beverages including water and juices, while opponents wanted the bottle bill scrapped altogether over time. Neither side budged.

"I’m disappointed we couldn’t get the sides together, but the battle lines are now drawn," said Rep. Randy Hunt to the Boston Globe, one of the members of the subcommittee.

Supporters of expansion have recently finalized efforts to bring the required number of signatures to state officials in an attempt to bring the issue to voters Nov. 4. Approximately 19,000 signatures were presented to the Secretary of State, William Galvin, on July 2, according to a blog post by the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

"The people of Massachusetts have spoken loud and clear, over a number of years, that they want less litter and more recycling," Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG, is quoted as saying in the post. "They want the updated bottle bill. In the World Cup of legislation, our elected officials let this goal go right through their legs. We did our best to work through Beacon Hill, now it’s up to the voters."

For the measure to make it to the Nov. 4 ballot, Galvin's office will have to first verify the signatures to the petition. Once accomplished, groups from both sides of the argument are expected to begin a costly public-courting period leading up to the vote.

In 2011, expansion advocates cut short a push to put the issue to Massachusetts voters, choosing to try the legislative path instead of engaging in a battle with bottle bill opponents.

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Plastics Recycling 2015: Registration now open

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:15
Plastics Recycling Conference 2014: Registration now open

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

It's time to secure your spot at Plastics Recycling 2015, set for February 23-25 in Dallas, Texas. Plastics Recycling 2015 is the only North American conference that caters exclusively to plastics recycling.

Plan to head to Dallas to learn how to maintain and grow your business in the current economic climate from the leading experts in the field of plastics recovery and utilization. Industry gurus will present a range of info-packed presentations, including analyses of trends in the U.S. and Canada, plastics collection issues, recycling market factors, and legislative and policy considerations.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. The 2014 conference attracted more than 1,775 attendees from over 30 countries, so register now to ensure you'll be in on the action in February. Details on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring can be found at plasticsrecycling.com.

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UK tests colorant to recycle black CPET trays

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:01
UK tests colorant to recycle black CPET trays

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

A group in the U.K. is attempting to shift an emerging PET product toward recyclability.

The group, led by the packaging, retail and recycling players in the U.K., says a new colorant enables black CPET trays to be readily sorted and recycled by plastics recovery facilities (PRFs). To prove that fact, 2 million trays featuring the detectable colorant will be used as food packaging by two of the U.K.'s largest grocery stores, Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Sainsbury's, between mid-July and mid-August of this year. The group will then assess how efficiently those items are recovered within the recycling stream.

Traditionally, black CPET trays, while recyclable, have been hard to identify for optical sortation systems, meaning almost 1.3 billion of them end up being landfilled in the U.K. each year.

Representatives from WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), the project's lead researcher, say the government-funded nonprofit group has spent four years of research and development aiming to show the newly configured trays can be readily identifiable at PRFs.

"WRAP welcomes the opportunity to trial the use of detectable black colorants in the M&S and Sainsbury’s product range to validate its true potential in-market," Claire Shrewsbury, a WRAP project manager, said in a press release. "WRAP looks forward to the trial and its results, and considers this a great step toward enabling closed loop recycling."

The press release states that a public report will be released following the conclusion of the trial project. The full project team consists of WRAP, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Faerch Plast, the Kent Resource Partnership, Biffa Waste Management, Recoup, and Nextek Limited.

The press release states that a public report will be released following the conclusion of the trial project. The full project team consists of WRAP, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Faerch Plast, the Kent Resource Partnership, Biffa Waste Management, Recoup, and Nextek Limited.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET price holds steady

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:58
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET price holds steady

July 10, 2014

Prices for FDA-sanctioned rPET clear pellet have stood firm in early July at 80-82 cents per pound FOB East Coast on steady demand.

U.S. producers of prime PET have proposed price increases for July of as much as 5 cents with 2 cents expected to be settled on by month's end, or about 75 cents per pound. Recycled PET's premium to prime PET underscores an increase in recycled post-consumer PET in recent years as well as advances in plastics recycling technology.

Prices for PET scrap bales made from bottles from curbside are down 1-2 cents per pound in July and stand at 16-17 cents per pound (FOB East Coast) as supply is robust from increased beverage consumption during the summer season.

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, 07/09/2014 - 14:54
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

According to one plastics recycling industry official in China, the country's scrap plastics imports fell by 11.2 percent last year. That development and others are in our global roundup.

According to a member of the China Scrap Plastics Association, the Asian nation saw its volume of plastics imports fall 11.2 percent in 2013, a year that was defined by the Operation Green Fence customs crackdown. In 2012, the trade association says, China imported around 8.8 million metric tons of scrap plastics, and that number dropped to roughly 7.89 million metric tons last year.

Government officials in the European Union last week proposed raising the recycling rate goal for all member countries to 70 percent by 2030 — with a special 80 percent recycling rate goal for packaging. Leaders have also mentioned a landfill ban on recyclables materials by 2025.

In conjunction with the Frank PR firm, the U.K.'s National Plastics Recycling Initiative is developing a campaign called Umbrella, which aims to offer toolkits retailers and municipalities to help them boost recovery of recyclable plastics. The National Plastics Recycling Coalition is backed by Recoup, Coca-Cola, Nestle Waters and others.

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Patent watch

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:51
Patent watch

July 10, 2014

Patent No. 8,763,941, which describes a plastic beverage container shredder housed in a bottle-shaped housing, was awarded to Lawrence V. Beck, Jr. from Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

A team of Japanese researchers, led by Tatsuya Hase from Yokkaichi, were given Patent No. 8,765,879 for a method of making molded products from a recycled polyester resin.

The Procter & Gamble Company, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded Patent No. 8,766,032 for a method of recycling superabsorbent polymer articles.

Encell Composites, LLC, from Naples, Florida, was given Patent Application No. 20140175185, which describes a method for making thermoset composite materials from recycled rubber.

Patent Application No. 20140175198 was awarded to Pasadena, California's Avery Dennison Corporation for a method of recycling materials that have a label and/or adhesive attached.

A method for removing labels from plastic containers for recycling is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140183078, given to Tim and Connie Newton from Lamoni, Iowa.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database online.

Copies of patents can be ordered by number for $3 each from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA, 22313-1450.

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Philly recycling initiatives yield results

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:48
Philly recycling initiatives yield results

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

The City of Brotherly Love has over the past five years seen significant progress in its push to send fewer plastics and other recyclable materials to landfills.

The municipality's waste diversion rate, one of 14 targets in Philadelphia's Greenworks initiative, has increased from 53 percent in 2008 to 73 percent in 2012, a new progress report shows. In 2012, the latest year for which complete data is available, the city surpassed a 2015 goal of reaching a 70 percent diversion rate. It's the second straight year the city has achieved that feat.

Philadelphia's overall recycling rate, which includes both residential and commercial sources, reached 50 percent in 2012. At the same time, 23 percent of the city's refuse went to waste-to-energy facilities — those two percentages together create the 73 percent waste diversion figure.

Still, the city's residential recycling rate for 2012 came in at 21 percent.

When it comes to construction and demolition debris, however, Philadelphia's recycling and reuse rate is 80 percent, according to the progress report.

The city has been active in promoting recycling. In 2010, Philadelphia began accepting plastics Nos. 1-7, and in 2013 more than 60,000 new recycling bins were provided by the Philadelphia Streets Department. In addition, a total of 2,000 desk-side recycling bins have been distributed to local businesses. And the city recently renewed its partnership with the Recyclebank recycling incentive program.

Note: An earlier version of this story compared Phildelphia's curbside recycling rate (21 percent) with the national recycling rate (about 34 percent).  This comparison is not wholly appropriate as the national recycling rate includes composting totals.

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