Plastics Recycling Update Magazine

Updated: 17 hours 37 min ago

Maryland’s largest county bans EPS

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:04
Maryland’s largest county bans EPS

By Jared Paben, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 28, 2015

Maryland’s most populous county has joined the ranks of New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Seattle in voting to ban expanded polystyrene containers and packing materials.

Montgomery County Council voted unanimously on Jan. 20 to prohibit restaurants, grocery stores and cafeterias from providing expanded polystyrene (EPS) products.

The county’s solid waste chief visited neighboring Howard County’s polystyrene recycling facility and found no food service containers there, Montgomery County Council member Hans Riemer told the Council before the vote.

“Recycling (EPS) food service containers is just not an issue," said Riemer, a sponsor of the law. "It’s a nonstarter. It’s all soiled. It has to be cleaned in order to be recycled. The only way to do it is to ban it and require alternative products.”

EPS can be recycled, but it has emerged as a hot topic for many communities throughout the U.S. due to its relatively low value and contamination concerns.

In early January, New York City decided to ban EPS products. In New York’s case, Dart Container Corporation offered to fund the addition of EPS in curbside recycling, but city officials said they saw a curbside strategy as unworkable given the uncertainties surrounding markets for the material.

Washington, D.C. in June 2014 voted to ban foam products, as part of a larger package of environment-focused laws, while San Francisco and Seattle were among the first high-profile communities to go ahead with bans.

In Maryland's Montgomery County, an area that has more than 1 million residents and is located just north of Washington, Council members cited environmental and human health concerns in banning the material. The jurisdiction has taken steps in the past to reduce pollution in local water bodies, including a 2011 decision to impose a nickel fee on plastic and paper shopping bags.

Montgomery County’s foam ban will go into effect in 2016. Also under the Montgomery County law, but starting in 2017, businesses will only be allowed to provide food service ware that meets standards for recyclability or compostability. That would preclude providing rigid polystyrene containers, unless the county implements a recycling program for them.

Communities that do recycle foam often do so through drop-off sites, as in the case of Yonkers, New York. San Antonio is the only non-California community to accept foam curbside.


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SPI Recycling Technology Summit: Learn what's propelling the industry

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:59
SPI Recycling Technology Summit: Learn what's propelling the industry

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 28, 2015

Plastics players looking for in-depth analysis of the processing innovations and methodologies pushing forward the recycling of key resins can once again turn to a half-day event organized by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association.

SPI is holding its second annual Recycling Technology Summit at Plastics Recycling 2015, taking place next month in Dallas. This unique knowledge-sharing opportunity features five leading plastics recycling executives and will be divided into two sessions: one focused on overcoming recovery barriers, and the other investigating new feedstocks and processing innovations.

Last year's Recycling Technology Summit attracted 150 attendees, many of them compounders and converters, and this year's meeting is expected to garner an even larger crowd.

The SPI Recycling Technology Summit takes place Monday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m., and it is co-located with Plastics Recycling 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. Find more information and register for the Summit here.

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APR looks back on plastics in 2014

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:55
APR looks back on plastics in 2014

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 28, 2015

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers has released its 2014 annual report, noting continued work on labels, oxo-degradable packaging and more.

In a letter addressed to APR's members, the group's executive director, Steve Alexander, writes that membership rose "to an all-time high in 2014."

"We operate on a relatively modest budget, but fortunately our efforts as the technical resource to the industry continue to carry tremendous weight," Alexander states.

To that end, the report highlights work in several focus areas, with APR's Full Wrap Shrink Sleeve Working Group leading off the summary. Working alongside "label manufacturers, consumer product companies and other groups," APR's working group managed to forge "at least one full-wrap label that will float into the marketplace, a prospect almost unheard of prior to APR addressing the issue," the report points out.

The group will continue to work on leading the design of sleeves that float.

In addition, APR has continued fending off attempts by manufacturers of oxo-degradable products on two fronts: among APR members approached by the industry and as part of an ongoing discussion within the ASTM voluntary standards' plastics division. ASTM is currently taking up a proposal to include an oxo-degradable label on select products and APR has appealed to its members to rebuff approval of the step.

The report also mentions the newly formed corporate training program APR has begun to offer packaging engineers.

"We foresee tremendous growth potential for this effort in 2015 and beyond," the report states.

For the full breakdown of APR's yearly review, click here.

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PetroChem Wire: PET pricing weakens across board

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:52
PetroChem Wire: PET pricing weakens across board

Jan. 28, 2015

Prices for U.S.-produced prime PET for delivery to the Midwest via rail fell 3 cents per pound last week to 58-59 cents per pound.

At that level, prices are down 25 percent from a year earlier as lower feedstock costs and the resultant healthy U.S. production level join high imports to bring oversupply. PET feedstock PTA (purified terephthalic acid) fell 6 cents per pound last week, while MEG (monoethylene glycol) dropped 2 cents per pound.

All the downward momentum in the PET feedstock/prime market is affecting recycled PET. Prices for most grades of recycled material were down a penny last week. Recycled PET clear flake from curbside bottles sold at 53 cents per pound FOB Midwest, and food-grade sheet flake sold at 50 cents per pound FOB Midwest, both down a penny.

Recycled PET green FDA sanctioned pellets were also down 1 cent per pound to 51-53 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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Wide world of plastics recycling

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:49
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 28, 2015

China's plastics recycling industry is feeling some pain due to low oil prices. We barrel through the details in our global wrap-up.

The recent drops in oil prices have slowed the plastic recycling sector in China. While environmentalists and workers rights advocates have long decried conditions at Chinese recycling facilities, the lower costs of manufacturing new plastics seem to have had a greater impact in stalling the recycling trade.

Unauthorized plastics recycling units spewing toxic clouds are causing respiratory illnesses among residents in Vadaperumbakkam, in the Southern Indian city of Chennai. A residential area is fast turning into an industrial one, as about 60 recycling units and warehouses have sprouted in the past four years. Most are unauthorized and operate without much in the way of safety regulations.

In the future, there could be as much plastic in the world’s oceans as there are fish, the head of a Washington-based environmental organization said. Andreas Merkl, CEO of Ocean Conservancy, warned that the augmented ranks of middle class in developing countries and low recycling rates could lead to dramatic increases in plastics washed out to sea.


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Plastics Recycling 2015: Only three days remain for discounted hotel rate

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:45
Plastics Recycling 2015: Only three days remain for discounted hotel rate

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 28, 2015

To get the most out of the upcoming Plastics Recycling Conference, be sure to stay at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. All the conference events will be taking place at the Hyatt Regency, so by booking your room there, you'll ensure your place at the center of the networking and deal-making action.

Up until Jan. 30, attendees can book a room at the Hyatt at a discounted rate of $198, plus taxes. However, once that date passes – or the conference room block sells out – room prices will increase. Act now and book your hotel room here.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. Head to plasticsrecycling.com for all the information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.


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NewsBits

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 11:36
NewsBits

Jan. 28, 2015

Instead of converting plastics to fuels and selling them, Niagara Falls-based Plastic2Oil is shifting its strategy and aiming to sell its processing equipment and license related technologies. The company, which reported losses recently, entered a deal with EcoNavigation of Victor, New York to sell the company six processors, sell and license related technologies and conduct monitoring and maintenance. The move could generate at least $15 million annually, according to the company.

City leaders in Vail, Colorado will consider an ordinance banning plastic bags. The proposed law would prohibit retailers from providing plastic bags and impose a 10-cent fee for each single-use paper bag. It approved, the law would take effect in July.

A program in Virginia to collect plastic pesticide containers for recycling garnered 128,226 pounds of material last year, a nearly 40 percent jump year-over-year. The containers were collected at 32 sites throughout the state. They were granulated, transported to recycling facilities and remanufactured into new products, including posts and underground utility conduits.

The Recycling Partnership has officially launched. Curbside Value Partnership's new public-private venture has provided the city of Columbia, South Carolina with a $300,000 grant to help roll out its switch from bins to carts. The Partnership, which plans to branch out into a national program [Ed: look for the February issue of Resource Recycling for an article detailing this plan], will also start work in Richmond, Virginia and Florence, Alabama this year.

Two major packaging companies, one of which is involved with plastics recycling, have struck a deal to combine to form one company. The merger of Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco is expected to save millions of dollars for both companies. Rock-Tenn collects and recycles 270,000 tons of plastics and other non-fiber materials each year.

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FPI announces foam recycling equipment grants

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:47
FPI announces foam recycling equipment grants

By Jared Paben, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 21, 2015

A new grant program will help U.S. and Canadian organizations purchase the equipment needed to process and prepare expanded polystyrene for recycling.

The Foam Recycling Coalition has launched the new grant program, which will pay for equipment needed to process post-consumer expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service packaging, egg cartons, meat trays and protective packaging used for shipping fragile items.

Formed in 2014, the Foam Recycling Coalition is part of the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI).

"The Foam Recycling Coalition was put together to help educate people on how to recycle foam and the steps that they need to take, but also you have the grant program that’s part of that equation," FPI President Lynn Dyer said in an interview with Plastics Recycling Update.

Grant amounts will range from an estimated $15,000 to $50,000, but will be determined on a case-by-case basis. No cash match is required as part of the program, but grant recipients may incur related costs, such as site preparation, conveying systems, electrical infrastructure, freight transportation or others, according to the FPI website. Grant award winners must also commit to collecting, processing and marketing EPS for a minimum of three years.

The issue of recycling post-consumer foam has come to a head after New York City opted to ban the material instead of attempting an ambitious recycling plan proposed by foam manufacturer Dart Container.

Dyer says the grant program is a real opportunity to help “dispel myths like we’re seeing out of New York City that you can’t recycle it and there are no end markets."

To that end, grant money could pay for a densifier specifically tailored to compact the loose material into blocks for more efficient transportation and recycling. With price tags ranging from $18,000 a piece to more high-powered $50,000 models, densifiers are expensive but crucial: A truckload of baled EPS weighs 16,000 pounds, while a load of compacted foam can weigh up to 40,000 pounds.

"There’s no question that there’s a market for the material; however, what is potentially missing is the equipment that a MRF might need, for example, to make it economical," Dyer said.

Without densifying the material, transportation "can get very expensive, because you’re shipping air," Dyer said.

Both public and private sectors in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to apply for the grants. The organizations must be involved in managing residential curbside or drop-off programs, managing commercial recycling efforts or operating a MRF. Grants can be awarded to organizations that want to start an EPS recycling program or that want to augment an already-existing one.

The grants aren’t necessarily limited to purchasing equipment, Dyer said, and FPI will entertain other proposals that assist in EPS recycling.

Grant applications are due by March 16, 2015 and FPI hopes to offer the grants on an annual basis.

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Plastics Recycling 2015: Just 10 days left for discounted hotel rate

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:42
Plastics Recycling 2015: Just 10 days left for discounted hotel rate

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 21, 2015

To get the most out of the upcoming Plastics Recycling Conference, be sure to stay at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. All of the conference events will be taking place at the Hyatt Regency, so by booking your room there, you'll ensure your place at the center of the networking and deal-making action.

Up until Jan. 30, attendees can book a room at the Hyatt at a discounted rate of $198, plus taxes. However, once that date passes – or the conference room block sells out – room prices will increase. Act now and book your hotel room here!

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. Head to plasticsrecycling.com for all the information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.

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Curbside foam collection a reality in some cities

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:37
Curbside foam collection a reality in some cities

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 21, 2015

New York City's recent decision to ban foam food service products due to curbside recycling obstacles has raised another question: What are other municipalities doing with the material?

According to an online database compiled by foam manufacturer Dart Container, more than 60 communities in California, including Los Angeles and Sacramento, include post-consumer expanded polystyrene (EPS) in their curbside programs. San Antonio also allows the material in curbside bins.

A 2013 study funded by the American Chemistry Council and conducted by Moore Recycling Associates suggested 31 percent of the American population in 2012 had access to foam recycling either curbside or via drop-off locations.

In cementing their decision on EPS, New York City officials said their research showed integrating the material into the curbside infrastructure would be costly and time consuming, and they noted question marks remain when it comes to downstream markets for post-consumer foam.

But Moore Recycling's CEO, Patty Moore, says not all communities are reaching that same conclusion.

"The research we’ve done shows that EPS can, and is, being recycled in curbside programs," Moore said. "California is a leader in collecting this material curbside."

Recycling foam via drop-off locations, meanwhile, is far more widespread in the U.S., Dart's list shows. Municipalities in 17 states have at least one drop-off location for the material.

In addition to New York City, several other large cities have moved to ban post-consumer EPS, including Portland, Oregon, Washington D.C. and Seattle.

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Recycling interests play small role in campaign funding

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:33
Recycling interests play small role in campaign funding

by Jerry Powell, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 21, 2015

Recently elected Congressional members raised hundreds of millions of dollars from individuals and political action committees in the lead-up to voting last November. An analysis of campaign spending records indicates, however, that the recycling industry remains a relatively small player in campaign financing.

To take two examples touching the recycling industry, the political action committee managed by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries contributed $52,500 during this period to more than two dozen federal candidates from both parties and six other campaign committees. The Waste Management employee PAC contributed almost $55,000 to 32 federal candidates and over $37,000 to seven other campaign committees. Compared to the previous election cycle, when ISRI donated over $64,000 to candidates and the WM PAC contributed over $112,000.

As another example, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) was re-elected and will remain the chairman of a key environment subcommittee where waste management and recycling issues may be debated. He raised $1.97 million for his re-election campaign.

Two percent of these monies came from groups and companies with an interest in recycling, such as the ISRI PAC, Waste Management and the Automotive Recyclers Association. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) is the ranking Democrat on this subcommittee and he raised no funds from recycling interests.

A total of $1.54 billion was spent in 2014 Congressional races. Over $1.7 billion was spent in the previous election cycle.


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PetroChem Wire: Recycled polypropylene pellet price weakens in new year

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:30
PetroChem Wire: Recycled polypropylene pellet price weakens in new year

Jan. 21, 2015

FDA-sanctioned post-consumer CoPP black recycled pellet material was reported sold last week at over 60 cpp delivered U.S. locations East of the Rocky Mountains. CoPP post-consumer black pellets without any FDA approval saw buying interest closer to 50 cpp FOB US East Coast, down a penny from the previous week. HoPP back repro moved lower too in tandem with CoPP, with that market pegged at 48-49 cpp FOB East Coast as offers at 50 cpp FOB attracted little buying interest.

In the prime polypropylene, HoPP dropped 6 cpp to 64 cpp the second week in January, following a decline of 4 cpp the previous week.

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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Scrap export figures rise again after hiccup

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:25
Scrap export figures rise again after hiccup

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 21, 2015

Exports of scrap plastics in October 2014 continued their overall rebound from year-previous shipping levels.

Exports bounced back in October, the most recent month for which data is available, after a month-to-month dip at the outset of the third quarter.

October saw a steep 14.3 percent month-to-month increase from September 2014 export levels, with 461.1 million pounds of scrap plastics exported during the 10th month of the year. When matched against October 2013 levels (403.4 million pounds), the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 16.6 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in October, at 19.77 cents per pound, was down from September 2014 levels by 5.2 percent. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 9.5 percent.

Year-to-date (YTD) figures for scrap plastics showed strong gains as well. With 4.03 billion pounds exported through October 2014, the volume of recovered plastics sent across U.S. borders was up 16.7 percent from its YTD 2013 figure, which was heavily influenced by China's Operation Green Fence.

At 19.88 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first 10 months of 2014 was down by 3.2 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

 

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Plastics Recycling 2015: The real impact of mixed-waste MRFs on plastics recovery

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:22
Plastics Recycling 2015: The real impact of mixed-waste MRFs on plastics recovery

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 21, 2015

The resurgence of mixed-waste processing facilities, often known as "dirty" MRFs, has sparked a lively debate in recycling. Several major U.S. municipalities have recently given the green light to sizable MRF projects that will aim to separate recyclables from organics and other materials in the residential waste stream.

That raises a core question for plastics recycling stakeholders: What effect will these types of facilities will have on plastics recovery? At Plastics Recycling 2015, attendees will get the first-hand perspective from various stakeholders involved with both the building of a mixed-waste MRF and the consumers of recyclable materials from that type of facility.

Look to the stage in Dallas for a well-balanced look at dirty MRF technology, inputs, output, quality, economics, future projections and more.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. Head to plasticsrecycling.com for all the information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.

 

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NewsBits

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 22:14
NewsBits

Jan. 21, 2015

A researcher working out of a small, collegiate lab in Hong Kong says he's making progress in "cracking" the recycling of mixed plastics. Stephen Chow, a professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, has been working on breaking down a variety of mixed plastics in just 10 minutes, two to six times quicker than traditional approaches.

A new program in the Central African country of Cameroon plans to recycle 11,000 tons of plastic per year, about 1.7 percent of the plastics disposed of each year. The program, called Eco Collect, will begin in the capital city of Yaounde and the country’s largest city, Douala, before expanding to other areas of the country.

An article posted on Ars Technica takes readers on a virtual tour of Sims Municipal Recycling's Sunset Park MRF in Brooklyn. The feature examines some of the plant's most advanced sorting equipment and even includes a photograph showing the current pricing for PET (15.5 cents per pound) and HDPE (26 cents per pound). The facility sorts all of the recyclables collected through New York City's curbside recycling program.

A system has been devised in Mexico to recycle PET into a paper-like product at a lower cost than traditional methods. Young entrepreneurs at the company Cronology have managed to recycle PET bottles into mineral paper, which can be used to print books, boxes and stationery.

A new technology employed at a U.K. recycling plant uses microwaves to separate materials in plastic-aluminum laminates so they can be recycled. A commercial-scale plant in Luton, U.K. is now in operation and can recycle up to 2,204 tons of packaging annually. Plastic-aluminum laminates, a food and drinking packaging growing in popularity, are otherwise not recyclable. The plant is partly funded by Nestle and Kraft Foods/Mondelez International.

Scientists in Mexico City have found a creative way of degrading used diapers so the plastics in them can be recycled. Scientists at the Metropolitan Autonomous University determined they can grow mushrooms in the used diapers. The mushrooms degrade the wood-derived cells, leaving plastics that can be recycled, other materials that can be composted and high-protein mushroom that can be consumed.

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Oregon plastics recovery drops after record high year

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:41
Oregon plastics recovery drops after record high year

By Jared Paben, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 14, 2015

Oregon recovered 4.4 percent less plastic from its waste stream in 2013 than it did during the historically high year before, according to a state report.

A recently released Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) report showed 54,884 tons of plastics were recovered from the municipal waste stream in 2013, down from 57,403 tons the year before.

Peter Spendelow, materials management specialist at DEQ, said he didn’t know exactly why plastics recycling decreased, but “the most logical explanation would be it was associated with the Green Fence in China.”

Operation Green Fence, the customs enforcement action which spanned from February to November in 2013, was an effort by China to reduce imports of lower quality plastic bales. The customs crackdown sent ripples throughout the North American plastics recycling sector.

“If they don’t have a market for it and China isn’t accepting it anymore, they probably simply turned around and got rid of some of the stuff that was already collected,” he said.

In 2013, decreases were seen across all four of the tracked plastics recycling categories: composite plastic, plastic film, other plastics and rigid plastic containers. Various types of beverage containers are included in the rigid plastic containers category.

The weight of plastics recovered in 2012 was the highest since the state began tracking in 1992, largely because of a 26.7 percent increase in film recycling versus the year prior. While film volumes dropped slightly in Oregon in 2013, the total was still well above historical levels, coming in at 14,583 tons.

Spendelow noted that increased availability of bag drop-offs could be contributing to high numbers. Some decreases in film recycling volumes might be expected because Portland, Oregon's largest city, has enacted a ban on plastic bags. But Spendelow urged keeping the bag ban in perspective: Portland represents only about 15 percent of the state’s population, and bags are only a portion of films.

“A lot of the film recycled isn’t plastic bags,” he said. “Much of it is stretch wrap, dry cleaner bags, furniture bags. You have there people generating a lot of clean commercial film.”

Oregon’s recovery rate includes materials recycled, burned for energy recovery and composted.

The state’s overall recovery rate hit a record high 53.9 percent in 2013.

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Plastics Recycling 2015: Time running out for discounted hotel rate

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:31
Plastics Recycling 2015: Time running out for discounted hotel rate

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 14, 2015

To get the most out of the upcoming Plastics Recycling Conference, be sure to stay at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. All the conference events will be taking place at the Hyatt Regency – by booking your room there, you'll ensure your place at the center of the networking and deal-making action.

Up until Jan. 30, attendees can book a room at the Hyatt at the discounted rate of $198 plus taxes. However, once that date passes – or the conference room block sells out – room prices will increase. Act now and book your hotel room here.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. Head to plasticsrecycling.com for all the information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.

To return to the Plastics Recycling Update newsletter, click here

NYC: Curbside foam can't be recycled

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:19
NYC: Curbside foam can't be recycled

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 14, 2015

In a controversial move, New York City has banned foam foodservice products on the grounds that they cannot be efficiently recycled through a curbside collection system.

"After consultations with corporations, including Dart Container Corporation, nonprofits, vendors and other stakeholders, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has determined that expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam cannot be recycled, which led to the ban," the city announced in a Dec. 8 press release. "DSNY has also determined that there currently is no market for post-consumer EPS collected in a curbside metal, glass and plastic recycling program."

It is widely known that post-consumer EPS can be recycled for use in picture frames and a variety of other products, and most communities that offer EPS collection do so through a drop-off format. While ban opponent Dart Container had secured an Indianapolis-based buyer for the New York City material, DSNY internal documents show the agency was not convinced of the long-term viability of an alternative plan to collect all polystyrene items curbside.

The ban was presented as an environmental victory by the city's mayor, Bill de Blasio, who had first proposed to outlaw select foam products in 2007 when he was a member of City Council.

"By removing nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from our landfills, streets and waterways, today's announcement is a major step towards our goal of a greener, greater New York City," de Blasio said in a statement.

Starting July 1, establishments throughout New York City will no longer be able to offer or sell foam food service products, such as cups and clamshell takeout trays. Foam packing peanuts will also be banned and compostable plates will be the new norm at the city's public school cafeterias. All other rigid polystyrene products will continue to be landfilled.

The decision was challenged by foam manufacturer Dart, which lobbied hard against the ban and pushed for the addition of all PS to the city's curbside recycling program.

"In the year since the ban was first proposed, foam manufacturers like Dart were given an opportunity to prove that foam foodservice items could be economically and logistically recycled within the city’s five boroughs," a press release from Dart reads. "Dart conducted real world tests that unequivocally proved this feasibility."

The foam ban was approved by City Council members in late 2013, but it included a compromise that gave Dart and others a year to prove recycling foam curbside could be effective within the city. The DSNY had until Jan. 1 to make a decision on whether to push through the ban or go with Dart's alternative proposal.

The decision to ban, as outlined in a letter to de Blasio from DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, came down to several reservations administrators had regarding Dart's proposed recycling plan and timeline for recycling curbside PS and EPS.

The City estimates roughly 60,000 tons of polystyrene products enter the waste stream each year, with about half that total being EPS.

Under Dart's plan, all PS and EPS would have been collected curbside by DSNY, optically sorted and baled by Sims Municipal Recycling and sold to Plastics Recycling, Inc. (PRI) in Indianapolis. Dart agreed to fund the addition of sorters at Sims' Brooklyn MRF and the expansion of PRI's facility. In addition, Dart secured a five-year guarantee from PRI to buy New York City's post-consumer PS, including foam foodservice packaging.

But Garcia's letter shows city leaders felt putting such an infrastructure in place would take too much time. DSNY contends the addition of sorters at Sims' facility would take up to two years to complete. "As such, EPS would not be recycled until late 2016 or early 2017," Garcia's letter states.

In addition, PRI's necessary expansion wouldn't be completed until "late spring 2015," DSNY says. According to the letter, question marks continue to surround the company's ability to process post-consumer PS and EPS.

And, Garcia warns, if PRI were to decide after five years to ditch the endeavor, DSNY and Sims "would still have to manage the costs and complications of having designated EPS as recyclable."

However, a representative from PRI maintained in an interview that EPS recycling from curbside is very much a viable solution for the company.

"Post-consumer foam is a growing market, there's more demand for it than there ever has been," Brandon Shaw, PRI's marketing manager, told Plastics Recycling Update. "People are just told it can't be recycled and they believe it, but we do it every day. The new plant just allows us to do it more efficiently and on a larger scale"

According to Shaw, the company already recycles 60 million pounds of PS per year. A third of that total is post-consumer and mostly garnered from drop-off sites, Shaw said.

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Wide world of plastics recycling

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:07
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Jan. 14, 2015

A U.K. industry group makes headway on a study on the ways black PET food service trays can be better identified and sorted at processing facilities. We color in the details in our global rundown.

U.K.-based waste prevention group WRAP tells Plastics Recycling Update results from a study on using a new colorant in black PET trays is slated for a February release. The colorant was incorporated into food service trays used by major U.K. grocery stores during the summer and aimed at improving the detectability of the trays at materials recovery facilities.

Liquidators are working to sell equipment from the now-defunct plastics recycling company GFSL. The U.K.-based firm had an annual capacity of 100,000 tons and was processing about 20,000 tons of rigid plastics per year. Click here to see photos and a video of the firm’s equipment.

A German plastics recycling firm is planning a $9.54 million expansion to its facility. MTM Plastics is already building two additional logistics facilities as part of the expansion of a warehouse, work that is scheduled to be completed by the end of February. In addition, over the next five years, MTM Plastics plans to build a second plant.

 

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PE weakens in New Year

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 20:59
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PE weakens in New Year

Jan. 14, 2015

Prices for recycled HDPE softened during the first two weeks of January, reflecting weakening prime and off-grade HDPE as well as a seasonal demand slowdown.

Weakening demand has been met with ample supply due to steady recycling rates. HDPE dairy pellets (homopolymer) were sold in early January at 71.5 to 76 cents per pound FOB southern U.S., down 3.5 to 4 cents per pound from late 2014. LDPE pricing was weaker too, with film grade pellets offered at 42 to 45 cents per pound attracting little buying interest.

In California markets, PC HDPE gray/natural pellets, 50/50 mix, were offered last week at 62 cents per pound FOB Los Angeles/Long Beach, down as much as 8 cents per pound from business done in December.

U.S. domestic prime HDPE, blow molding, dropped from just below 80 cents per pound in early December to 69 cents per pound on Jan. 12.

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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