Plastics Recycling Update Magazine

Updated: 19 min 34 sec ago

Do your PET bales make the grade?

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:43
Do your PET bales make the grade?

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 15, 2015

Under a new PET bale grading system, reclaimers will hopefully have better access to higher-quality material.

Produced by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), the tool uses letter grades A, B, C and F to assess the overall composition of PET bales received by reclaimers from materials recovery facilities. The system, as well as a complementary auditing protocol, is now being reviewed by the Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers (APR) for formal inclusion into the model bale specifications for PET, NAPCOR said.

According to the group, the system sends "a message to the marketplace that the PET reclaiming industry needs better PET bales."

"We are willing to reward quality and we've developed a way to measure it," NAPCOR member Byron Geiger wrote in a press release. Geiger is owner and president of Custom Polymers PET.

Bales earning an "A" will need to have at least 94 percent PET. Bales containing 72 percent or less of PET will earn an "F."

Bale quality has become an increasingly important issue in the PET space in recent years. As the availability of the material has risen, so too has demand for pure and clean bales.

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Canada plastics recycling rises

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:41
Canada plastics recycling rises

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 15, 2015

Canada's plastic packaging recycling activity continues to grow, according to a study from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.

The group's annual report, conducted by Moore Recycling Associates, suggests nearly 343,000 short tons of plastic packaging were collected for recycling in 2013. That figure represents a 9 percent increase from 2012's total of about 314,000 tons and follows a trend since 2009 of rising annual recovery.

For comparison's sake, U.S.recovery of plastics packaging in 2012 totaled 2.8 million tons, according to the U.S. EPA. The EPA has not yet released data for 2013.

Figures for overall generation in Canada, which would allow for a plastics recycling rate estimate, were not made available in the report.

Carol Hochu, president and CEO of Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), pointed out most consumption of that material occurs in North America, not in overseas markets.

"We are proud to report that over 80 percent of the plastic material reported was reclaimed in Canada or in the USA," Hochu said in the announcement.

Approximately 289,000 tons of Canadian plastics were reported purchased by U.S. or Canadian reclaimers in 2013. That means roughly 84 percent of Canadian recovered material was consumed by entities in the U.S. or Canada.

Plastic bottles are the most commonly recovered plastic product in Canada, accounting for about 60 percent of recovery, the report states. Film recycling, which was up 23 percent compared with 2012 numbers, represented 17 percent of overall recovery while non-bottle rigids represented roughly 21 percent of activity. Foam recycling, which was also up for the year, accounted for the remaining recovered tonnages.

The group notes, however, capacity continues to outstrip utilization at Canadian plastics recycling operations. According to the group, film recycling operations had a 44 percent utilization rate in 2013 while non-bottle rigid recycling was at 72 percent capacity.

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Plastics Recycling 2016: Where the action never stops

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:40
Plastics Recycling 2016: Where the action never stops

April 15, 2015

If you've ever been to the Plastics Recycling Conference, you know the buzz. The event brings together more than 1,500 industry professionals for the most focused networking and business-building event in the industry.

The excitement, camaraderie and profits are palpable.

Don't be left out on around-the-clock industry connection. Start planning now to make sure your business 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 taking place Feb. 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana. Head to plasticsrecycling.com for all the information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring at the plastic recycling industry's longest-running conference – now in its 11th year.

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California bills target recycled content minimums

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:37
California bills target recycled content minimums

By Jared Paben, Plastics Recycling Update

April 15, 2015

Legislation in front of California lawmakers would require beverage companies to use at least 10 percent recycled plastic in bottles if they want to continue receiving discounts on fees they pay to the state.

The state Senate’s Committee on Environmental Quality will hold a hearing today on one bill, while an Assembly committee is set to consider a separate bill that would also address recycled content in glass.  

The Senate bill, sponsored by environmental group Californians Against Waste, would require manufacturers of plastic beverage containers sold in the state to prove they’re using at least 10 percent recycled content starting in 2017. It would apply to all resins.

California’s bottle bill requires manufacturers to pay a recycling processing fee to CalRecycle, the state agency that manages waste and recycling concerns. CalRecycle then submits payments to recycling companies to subsidize their costs for recycling containers. However, if certain container diversion rates are achieved, the state reduces the amount manufacturers must pay. It then dips into state funds from unclaimed deposits to make up the difference when it cuts the check to recycling companies.

Under the Senate bill, manufacturers would have to hit the recycled content minimums if they want to continue receiving the discounts. It would apply to containers produced out of state as well.

It’s not clear what the average recycled content is for containers in California, according to a bill analysis. Coca-Cola uses, on average, 6 percent recycled content for PET packaging, while PepsiCo reports using 10 percent for beverage containers, the analysis states. Nestle states that five of its brands use a range from 50 percent to 100 percent recycled PET.

A separate bill in the California Assembly would require a 10 percent minimum recycled content for PET food and beverage containers starting in July 2016. Assembly Bill 1447 would also extend the current 35 percent minimum recycled content requirement on glass all bottles filled in California, not just those made in California.

The bill would help PET recycling companies struggling to compete with makers of virgin PET because of low oil prices, according to Californians Against Waste.

“California recycled material processors and recycled product makers are starting to lose market share to out of state/country ‘virgin’ producers,” according to Californians Against Waste.

The Assembly’s Natural Resource Committee is expected to hear the bill on April 27.

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APR announces 2015 webinar lineup

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:36
APR announces 2015 webinar lineup

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 15, 2015

How much more revenue could a MRF operator expect from additional sorting of non-bottle rigid plastics and would that offset the added costs?

An online calculator from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) can help answer that question.

The calculator methodology is one of the topics APR will explore with its 2015 webinar series. The free webinars are slated to cover the following industry issues:

  • May 12: The Sort for Value Online Calculator: An APR Pricing Tool Creating More Value for MRFs
  • June 23: Foam Recycling: Facts, Figures and Market Potential
  • Aug. 11: What Really Goes in that Bale? An Overview of the 2015 National Mixed Rigid Bale Composition Study
  • Sept. 15: APR Resources to Support Domestic Plastic Recycling Markets
  • Oct. 27: Keep Your Caps On! A 2015 Update

The webinars all begin at 1 p.m. EST.

 

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled nylon 66 prices higher in April

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:35
PetroChem Wire: Recycled nylon 66 prices higher in April

April 15, 2015

Higher nylon feedstock prices are strengthening recycled nylon resin prices in April.

Nylon 66 post-industrial flake prices are up about 5 cents per pound from late March. Business was done in the first full week of April at 44 to 46 cents per pound for post-industrial unfilled black regrind and at 42 to 43 cents per pound for PI mixed color regrind.

Nylon 6 PI unfilled flake prices were steady during the same time frame, with black material at 23 cents per pound and mixed color at 21 cents per pound, both FOB U.S. East Coast.

The spread between Nylon 6 and Nylon 66 pellet prices has widened slightly from late March to mid-April, moving from 2 cents per pound to 3 cents per pound as Nylon 66 strengthened. Still, that’s far from the more typical 10 to 12 cents per pound spread nylon 66 has commanded over nylon 6 in the U.S. East Coast market in the recent past.

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, 04/15/2015 - 10:34
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 15, 2015

One of the of the world's largest cities has banned petroleum-based plastic grocery bags, and the U.K.’s Green Party says if elected it would take new steps to reduce plastic waste and increase recycling.

Sao Paulo, the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere, has banned petroleum-based plastic grocery bags. The new law allows stores to offer only plant-based plastics. A 2012 ban was halted by industry legal action and opposition from consumers.

The U.K.’s Green Party, if elected, will increase the country’s diversion goals and increase funding to support recycling, according to its new pledge. It would tax plastic bags and other packaging as well as ban disposal of food waste in landfills. The party says it would also make it difficult for the waste-to-energy industry to move forward.

Cascades Recovery and CellMark BC Holdings have formed a joint venture marketing and selling recovered materials generated from four Canadian provinces and the Pacific Northwest in the U.S., according to a press release. The new venture, called CasCell Trading Group, will be headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia. For more, click here.

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NewsBits from Plastics Recycling Update

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:33
NewsBits

April 15, 2015

Lansing, Michigan newspaper City Pulse recently delved into challenges local company Dart Container Corp. is facing as governments nationwide implement EPS bans. While the material is recyclable, costs and market challenges make it difficult or impossible to efficiently recover, particularly through a curbside model.

W Hotels Worldwide will begin using bed sheets made using recycled PET with the EKOCYCLE brand, part of a deal between the hotel chain, the Coca-Cola Co. and musician and entrepreneur will.i.am. Each set of king size sheets has the equivalent of 31 plastic bottles (20-ounce bottles).

Local governments in Arizona will not be able to ban or impose a fee on plastic bags, after Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law. The state law prohibits cities and counties from regulating the bags. Ducey provided no explanation to accompany his signature, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.

California regulators negotiated a $1.74 million settlement with a recycling company they said redeemed beverage containers and then sold the material to another company, which redeemed them a second time. After redeeming millions of pounds of plastic and aluminum containers, Alco Metal & Iron Co. resold 487,926 pounds of the aluminum and 496,121 pounds of the plastic to a non-certified recycler, Wan Best Trading of Daly City, a company CalRecycle cannot track down.

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Oregon officials fine Agilyx PTO site

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 08:08
Oregon officials fine Agilyx PTO site

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

April 8, 2015

Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has fined plastics-to-oil company Agilyx for improper storage and labeling of hazardous waste. The company has requested a contested case hearing with the DEQ.

The fine, totaling $46,500, stems from a September 2014 visit to the 701 N. Hunt St. Wastech facility operated by Agilyx in Portland, Oregon. The site has been owned by Waste Management since the mid-1980s and began retooling it in 2011 as a waste-to-oil hub operated by Agilyx, Oregon DEQ records show.

Although Waste Management temporarily shuttered the operation in August of 2014, citing the need for more advanced technology to push along its waste-to-oil operation, a DEQ visit the following month identified several lingering infractions found at the closed plant.

Without a permit to store hazardous waste at the facility, Agilyx kept nine 250-gallon totes and 72 55-gallon drums-worth of various hazardous wastes on the premises, the DEQ notice alleges. Some containers were not properly labeled or closed and others were stored for more than 90 days, the DEQ states.

Given until April 2 to appeal the fine and related violations, Agilyx on March 30 submitted a request for a hearing with the DEQ.

In the hearing request, Agilyx "denies elements of the findings" related to improper storage and labeling of hazardous waste at the facility. The company does admit to failing to have "an up-to-date contingency plan for responding to emergency situations" and a permit to store hazardous waste.

Representatives from Agilyx and Waste Management did not respond to a request for further comment on the matter.

Steve Siegel, an environmental attorney for the DEQ, told Plastics Recycling Update an informal meeting will take place before a hearing is decided on.

The DEQ notice states hazardous waste is no longer at the facility, and it says the "company's efforts to correct the violations" were considered when deciding on the fine amount.

The situation mirrors similar violations at another Agilyx facility, located in Tigard, Oregon, which was fined last year by the DEQ for nearly $50,000.

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PetroChem Wire: Prices rise for HDPE bales

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 08:05
PetroChem Wire: Prices rise for HDPE bales

April 8, 2015

HDPE natural and mixed color post-consumer bale prices rose at the very beginning of April due to tight supply, particularly in the Northeastern U.S.

Natural bales were assessed at 30 to 31 cents per pound and mixed color bales at 29 to 30 cents per pound, both FOB east of the Rockies. Some markets were at a 1 to 2 cents per pound premium to those numbers due to tight supply, the result of reduced winter curbside collection.

Meanwhile, flake and pellet trade was light in the week leading up to Easter weekend, with an increase in prices seen. HDPE post-consumer fractional melt mixed color pellets, for example, sold at 54 to 58 cents per pound FOB southern U.S., up 3 cents per pound from the previous week. In the prime HDPE market, U.S. Gulf spot blow-mold material rose 1.5 cents per pound from March 26 to April 2, reaching 63 cents per pound.

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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UPDATED: Plastic bans may be banished in Arizona

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 08:03
UPDATED: Plastic bans may be banished in Arizona

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

April 8, 2015

Arizona lawmakers have approved a bill that outlaws local bans, taxes and fees on a variety of "auxiliary containers," including plastic bags and beverage containers.

Passing the Arizona Senate last Thursday by a vote of 18-11, Senate Bill 1241 now awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to become law. If signed, it would be the second statewide law to keep municipalities from installing a ban on plastic bags.  Florida has restricted the enactment of a ban on bags and other items since 2008. 

Georgia lawmakers voted down a similar ban last month and Missouri's Senate is currently reviewing a House-approved measure to forbid muncipalities from banning plastic bags.

While recycling of plastic film, including bags, has increased in recent years through retailer drop-off options, plastic bags are not generally accepted in curbside recycling programs. Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) nationwide have reported difficulties with bags clogging recycling equipment and interfering with operations.

Under the Arizona bill, cities and towns throughout the state are banned from banning, taxing or applying a fee to "auxiliary containers," including reusable bags, disposable bags and beverage containers.

"The legislature finds that small businesses are particularly sensitive to the costs and expenses incurred in complying with regulatory actions of a city or town," the legislation states.

Bisbee, about 90 miles southeast of Tucson and home to fewer than 6,000 residents, is the only municipality in Arizona with a bag ban currently in place. Officials in Tempe and Flagstaff have recently contemplated bag bans of their own.

California last year ushered in legislation that is completely opposite to that which has passed in Arizona. The Golden State passed the nation's first statewide ban on bags (though voters will be given an opportunity to overturn it in 2016). Many large cities have enacted local bans on plastic bags – this group includes Chicago; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

Note:  This story has been updated to clarify that Florida passed a ban on taxing or banning auxillary containers in 2008.  A previous version of this story stated Arizona's law would be the first in the nation.  We regret this error.

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Plastics Recycling 2016: Best in the business

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 08:00
Plastics Recycling 2016: Best in the business

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 8, 2015

Next February marks the 11th iteration of the Plastics Recycling Conference, and our event's staying power is a testament to the innovative opportunities and business-boosting environment offered at the conference every year.

Plastics Recycling 2016 is produced by Resource Recycling, Inc., the publisher of Plastics Recycling Update and other recycling journals. Our editorial staff analyzes and investigates plastics recycling like no other organization. And that means the Plastics Recycling Conference is able to bring fresh, objective viewpoints that guide attendees into the sector's current and future profit centers.

In addition, our staff's relationships with individual attendees, recycling firms of all sizes and hotel and logistics groups give the Plastics Recycling Conference an edge when it comes to personalized service, competitive pricing and networking needs.

As you plan your event and trade show calendar for next year, start at Plastics Recycling 2016, the industry conference with a proven track record and a passion for evolution.

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.

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Industry price woes grab mainstream attention

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 07:57
Industry price woes grab mainstream attention

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 8, 2015

A number of reports from major consumer media outlets recently delved into the possible implications low oil prices could have on North American plastics recycling – and on the economics of recycling as a whole.

The Wall Street Journal, for instance, this week published a story about plastics reclaimers feeling the squeeze from the low price of oil, and it stated the result could be more of the material going to landfill.

NPR's "Planet Money" also recently ran a segment that focused attention on the relationship between low oil prices and plastics recycling profitability.

According to the Journal, at the beginning of 2015, virgin PET cost 83 cents per pound, 15 percent higher than the per-pound price of recycled PET, the article states. By the end of March, the cost of prime PET dropped to 67 cents per pound, 7 percent lower than recycled PET.

The Journal story also noted some new contracts between municipalities and reclaimers are written such that governments may end having to pay to get their plastics moved downstream, a significant switch from the current norm in which recovered plastics represent a revenue stream.

TerraCycles’s founder and CEO Tom Szaky, meanwhile, recently told CBS News some companies are currently storing plastics in the hope that oil prices increase again. New Jersey-based TerraCycle specializes in handling difficult-to-recycle materials.

Szaky added the storage strategy is not always going smoothly, however. "Once their storage is full, they simply dispose of the material in landfills or incinerators versus increasing the amount stored,” he said.

 

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NewsBits

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 07:54
NewsBits

April 8, 2015

A recycling company producing more than 80 percent of the recycled plastic used in milk bottles in the U.K. may be saved from bankruptcy after all. Closed Loop Recycling previously said it may have to go into administration, a form of bankruptcy, because low oil prices have driven down costs of virgin HDPE. But, after an outpouring of support from purchasers in the dairy industry, the company’s leader says a solution is on the table.

An Oregon bottled water company has established a system allowing it to use recycled PET from Oregon to manufacture new water bottles, the company announced. EartH20, located in Central Oregon’s high desert, will use content from bottles collected statewide by ORPET, a PET reclaimer that is a joint venture between Pacific PET Recycling LLC and the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative.

The West Coast ports labor dispute that hampered recyclable material exports cost the U.S. jobs, the president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries wrote to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Robin Wiener also wrote that the prolonged disruptions to U.S. scrap export shipments could cause permanent damage if overseas customers lose confidence in the U.S.’s ability to reliably deliver scrap.

Proctor & Gamble has joined the American Chemistry Council's Flexible Film Recycling Group.  The group is active in numerous efforts to increase the recovery of films and bags nationwide, including promoting and supporting in-store drop-off programs. 

Tom’s of Maine and recycling company TerraCycle have teamed up to launch a toy-recycling program. Through the program, parents can obtain a free Toy Recycling Box with prepaid shipping label. Items including dolls and board game pieces can be mailed to TerraCycle, a company that specializes in recycling difficult-to-process items.

 

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Debate heats up on status of B.C.'s deposit program

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 11:23
Debate heats up on status of B.C.'s deposit program

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

April 1, 2015

Is the fate of North America's first bottle redemption program in question?

According to Dennis Kinsey, a longtime veteran of British Columbia's retail sector and current principal at consultancy Common Ground Solutions, anti-deposit voices are in the process of mobilizing to take down the province's 45-year-old bottle return program.

"The stage is set for one last push by the diverse corporate interests involved in the marketing of beverages and other consumer packaged goods to eliminate the deposit system altogether in British Columbia," Kinsey writes in an article posted on Upstream, an organization that advocates for extended producer responsibility systems.

While not citing any current British Columbia legislation aiming to alter the deposit system, Kinsey goes on to suggest stewardship group Encorp Pacific, which represents the beverage and retail grocery industries in their mandated collection efforts, would ultimately like to see containers included in British Columbia's producer-funded printed paper and packaging curbside recycling program, Multi-Material B.C. (MMBC).

In an interview, Kinsey said efforts to move away from the deposit program remain "behind closed doors." He added, "They're lobbying to get the legislation changed. They have been for 25 years but it's getting closer all the time."

Corrine Atwood, who serves as the executive director of the BC Bottle and Recycling Depot Association, added that MMBC's active acceptance of deposit containers "is an attempt to prove that all containers can be collected in blue box programs."

Encorp CEO Scott Fraser, however, disputed the theory that his group is hoping to put an end to the deposit program.

"The deposit system is very successful, well-entrenched, broadly supported by the public and it has a big economic impact," Fraser said in an interview. "I am not aware of any conversation at all, let alone an escalation in the conversation [to discontinue the deposit program]."

In 2013, British Columbia recovered 80.1 percent of the containers and bottles that entered the waste stream, Encorp's latest annual report shows. That rate is 5.6 percentage points above the beverage container recycling rate from a decade ago, when 74.5 percent of discarded beverage containers were collected.

According to Fraser, approximately 93 percent of redeemed containers in 2013 were taken in at stand-alone depot centers in the province, while the remaining 7 percent came through retail and grocery store redemption programs.

To Kinsey, those numbers show efforts on the part of retailers to push consumers to depots.

"There's not a grocery retailer in British Columbia that promotes return-to-retail," Kinsey said. "In fact, they do everything to discourage it."

On that point, Fraser noted Encorp members do prefer depot collection but are required to take back bottles at stores.

"We do have a preference for depot [returns] because the higher the volumes at depots, the more efficient the overall system is, and it's certainly true in any jurisdiction that retailers would rather not have those containers in their stores," Fraser said. "But they're obligated under the regulation."

Under British Columbia's deposit law, retailers must take back at least 24 containers per day. Once that threshold is met, retailers can either decline to provide further refunds – directing residents to depots instead – or continue providing refunds. "We have certainly created and reinforced the depot network for convenience," Fraser added.

There are 173 active depot centers spread throughout the province, Fraser said.

Fraser noted the goal of Encorp and its members is "to continually increase the recovery rate."

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Rhode Island mulls extended producer responsibility for packaging

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 11:19
Rhode Island mulls extended producer responsibility for packaging

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

April 1, 2015

Two bills introduced by Rhode Island lawmakers last month suggest the possibility of the state putting end-of-life product management duties onto the shoulders of packaging producers.

House Bill 5508 (HB 5508), introduced on Feb. 12, calls on packaging producers to develop a plan to fund the recycling of at least 80 percent of packaging sold in the state by 2020. House Bill 5673 (HB 5673), meanwhile, calls on various stakeholders within the Ocean State to assess the management of "existing and future EPR and/or product stewardship programs." That legislation was introduced on Feb. 26.

EPR, short for extended producer responsibility, is a concept in which product manufacturers finance and coordinate end-of-life concerns for the materials they sell into the market.

No U.S. state currently utilizes a comprehensive EPR system for printed paper and packaging (PPP), though EPR systems exist in numerous states for end-of-life management of products such as electronics, mercury-containing devices and paint.

British Columbia last year made waves by implementing an EPR program for PPP.

Rhode Island's HB 5508 has been referred to the House Finance Committee, and HB 5673 has been sent to the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

A representative from the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC), the quasi-public entity that operates the state's only materials recovery facility, told Resource Recycling a wider conversation on producer-funded materials diversion efforts could be beneficial.

"If it's not an issue in Rhode Island, I don't want to make it one," said Sarah Kite, RIRRC's director of recycling services. "That said, paper and packaging is the 800-pound gorilla in the room and it needs a real serious review."

According to Kite, Rhode Island municipalities at the moment remain more concerned with "hard to handle materials" than with packaging.

"What I'm hearing from them is, 'Yes, let's keep looking at it, let's keep talking about it, let's see if there's any more low-hanging fruit, but help me with my tires,'" Kite said.

Under HB 5508, producers would be given 12 months to devise a collective or individual plan to collect and recycle post-consumer packaging used in the state. By 2020, producers would need to reach 80 percent recycling rates "for each type of packaging" and could not rely on waste-to-energy or incineration to get there. The bill is tied to efforts to reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in oceans.

HB 5673, meanwhile, would require numerous stakeholders – including the state's Department of Environmental Management (DEM), RIRRC, municipalities and manufacturers – to report on and recommend changes to the management of the state's current EPR programs.

The end result would be a "an EPR and product stewardship program management structure" that could be followed for current and future programs, the bill states.

Rhode Island currently has EPR programs in place for e-scrap, paint, mercury thermostats and mercury car switches. In 2016, Rhode Island will start a mattress stewardship program.

DEM's director, Janet Coit, could not be reached for a comment on the bills.

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Pesticide container collection effort hits record

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 11:15
Pesticide container collection effort hits record

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 1, 2015

The weight of HDPE pesticide containers diverted through an agriculture-focused program increased by 8 percent in 2014.

The industry-backed Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC) announced it collected for recycling 4,937 tons of pesticide containers in 2014. That represents a new record for the group.

The nonprofit entity operates a voluntary take-back and recycling program for high-density polyethylene containers. Funded by pesticide manufacturers, the program in most cases provides free collection opportunities for farmers.

The ACRC currently allows the containers to be recycled into agricultural drain pipe, highway sign posts, fence posts, utility conduits, wire and cable spool flanges, agro chemical composite IBC platforms and industrial pallets for ag chemical and seed packaging. It spent nearly $150,000 on research examining additional safe end uses for the recycled plastics in 2013, the latest year for which financial data is available.

According to its IRS 990 form, the group put $4.1 million toward the collection and recycling program in 2013. That sum made up the majority of ACRC's expenses.

ACRC currently has programs in 43 states, and the effort spans 2,500 collection sites. In 2014, participating states that experienced the largest increases in weights were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

“These increases reflect an extraordinary effort by the ACRC contractor, as well as the regulatory agencies, agri-business associations, individual growers, pesticide applicators and ag retailers in those states,” according to ACRC.

The overall leader, at 960 tons collected in 2014, was California, with its massive population and vast ag economy.

For 2015, the ACRC has budgeted enough money to collect and recycle an estimated 10.5 million pounds of containers, which would be a 6.3 percent increase over 2014 levels.

Since 1993, nearly 77,000 tons of containers have been collected and recycled, according to ACRC.

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Plastics Recycling 2016: Get your brand in front of the industry

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 11:12
Plastics Recycling 2016: Get your brand in front of the industry

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 1, 2015

Sponsorship and exhibitor packages are now available for the leading North American gathering of plastics recycling professionals.

By integrating your company into the action at Plastics Recycling 2016, you'll be boosting your brand recognition among plastics reclaimers, brokers, packaging executives, government officials and other sustainability leaders. Be sure to act quickly to get ahead of your competitors in terms of exhibit hall placement and sponsorship choices.

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 premier conference for plastics recovery.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices hold

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 11:10
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices hold

April 1, 2015

Recycled PET bottle- and food-grade pellet prices were steady the last week of March. FDA-sanctioned rPET bottle-grade clear repro was sold at 68 to 70 cents per pound FOB East Coast for truckload deliveries. Larger volume business was reportedly done about a nickel lower.

Recycled PET FDA clear bottle-grade flake, meanwhile, was done at 50 cents per pound with food-grade rPET sheet done at 48 cents per pound, both FOB Midwest. Demand for rPET staple fiber flake for the non-woven and home furnishings sectors was steady, with prices around 43 to 44 cents per pound for clear and 33 to 34 cents per pound for green, FOB East Coast.

Prime PET produced in the U.S. remained tight for spot deliveries in late March. At the same time, a good supply of imported prime PET kept prices steady. Domestic bottle grade material delivered to the Midwest by rail held in late March at 58 to 59 cents per pound. Long term, an antidumping petition filed by three U.S. PET producers on March 10 could curtail U.S. PET imports from the four countries cited in the complaint: China, India, Oman and Canada.

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

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 11:07
NewsBits

April 1, 2015

From skulking around a MRF in New York to getting the head of Waste Management on the horn, NPR’s Planet Money takes a comical yet informative look at recycling and its current-day economic pain. Topics covered in the segment include MRF technology, markets for recycled plastics and papers and a beloved teddy bear that gets tossed to the curb.

New Jersey has joined the state of Illinois in banning the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products. The beads are used to exfoliate skin and make creams flow onto skin more smoothly, among other uses. The beads have drawn opposition because they also flow down the drain, through sewage treatment plants and into water bodies. In a statement, the American Chemistry Council applauded the ban, which was recently signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.

Dow Chemical Co. will expand its ability to produce polyethylene as a shift toward the material’s use in packaging increases demand. Some developing countries are skipping cans and paper and going straight into flexible packaging, one of the company's packaging executives told Plastics News.

Agricultural plastics are a multi-billion dollar industry, used for everything from pipes to twine and film. But only about 10 percent of farm plastics are recycled, according to this article.

A majority of U.K. residents would be willing to pay slightly more for their milk if it meant the bottles included at least 30 percent recycled content, according to a survey commissioned by the Resource Association. The online survey of 2,006 people also found support for government action to require the use of recycled plastics in milk jugs.

Construction of a plant producing railroad ties using recycled plastics is a go, after the completion of an $11 million debt and equity financing deal. IntegriCo is building a facility in Springhill, Louisiana that will consume 125,000 tons of recycle plastics over the next year and a half, according to a press release. The plant is expected to open in July.

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