Two companies have big plans to boost PET consumption

Two companies have big plans to boost PET consumption

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 13, 2014

A Texas bottle-to-bottle recycling firm is spending $60 million on equipment for an upcoming facility, and a clothing giant plans to invest $5 million in the company's recycling center to meet demand for fabrics made using recovered plastics.

In Texas, CarbonLite Recycling is shelling out significant sums to outfit its new facility in the city of Abilene with of state-of-the-art plastic bottle recycling equipment. The Abilene plant, first announced in October of 2013, is slated to begin production in late 2014 and will allow CarbonLite to grow a partnership with Nestle Waters North America.

For its latest processing technology needs, CarbonLite says it is turning to Oregon-based Bulk Handling Equipment (and its subsidiary NRT) as well as to Italian company Amut and Erema North America, based in Massachusetts.

The 200,000-square-foot CarbonLite facility will have a processing capacity of 1.6 billion bottles annually.

The other company to recently announce investments that will lead to growth in recycled plastic consumption is Unifi, Inc., which manufactures the Repreve fiber line With numerous clothing brands expressing interest in using more alternative fibers, Unifi says it is planning a significant expansion of the Repreve Recycling Center in Yadkinville, North Carolina. The $5 million capital expenditure will focus on expanding operations, adding 10 jobs and increasing annual consumption from 42 million pounds to 72 million pounds of material.

Repreve is made using recovered plastic bottles and is already used in clothing from North Face, Nike and Patagonia, among others.

"As we bring the new machinery on-line, it’s clear that the increased versatility will help better position REPREVE to support the growth and demand for recycled products," Roger Berrier, president and COO of Unifi, said in a press release.

The company has invested $15 million in the North Carolina center since its 2010 opening.

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