Plastics Recycling Update

Our top stories from the first half of 2019

Cargo ships on the water in California. | Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

The first six months of 2019 have been a news whirlwind for the plastics recycling sector, with continued export shakeups, major investment announcements, and bold strategy moves by both brands and processors.

Here’s a look at our most-read stories (in terms of unique page views) from January through June. Stick with Plastics Recycling Update through the second half of 2019 for the latest on these evolving trends.

10 | Petrochem giants open up on ‘plastics waste problem’
MARCH 13: Executives from large resin makers say circular economy principles are key to their companies’ long-term viability. Putting such a strategy into action will be no easy task, however.

9 | West Coast reclaimers expand mixed-plastic capacity
FEB. 20: Merlin Plastics and Peninsula Plastics Recycling are making substantial investments in mixed-plastics processing capacity, bringing positive news for a region hard hit by China’s ban.

8 | Nestlé Waters CEO: 100% packaging recovery is possible
APRIL 17: The leader of one of the world’s largest bottled water businesses recently detailed the company’s recycling strategy, noting it supports deposit legislation and other steps to boost supply.

7 | Details on Indorama’s move to secure U.S. RPET supply
JAN. 9: An Indorama Ventures executive says converging factors have led to growing recycled plastic demand, which is key to the resin maker’s acquisition of reclaimer Custom Polymers PET.

6 | Chemical recycling firm lands $35 million in backing
MAY 30: Loop Industries has struck a deal for a $35 million investment, which will help fund a recycling plant to produce tens of millions of pounds of RPET each year.

5 | Lack of demand could sink ocean plastics recycling program
JAN. 9: Envision Plastics has had success integrating marine plastics into the supply chain. But if more brand owners don’t step up to purchase the material, the whole effort may have to scale back, an executive at the reclaimer said.

4 | Renewlogy gets nod for Phoenix mixed-plastics program
FEB. 13: A city of Phoenix evaluation team is recommending plastics-to-fuel company Renewlogy be selected to operate a diversion program recovering post-consumer No. 3-7 plastics.

3 | Basel changes may have ‘bigger impact’ than China ban
MAY 15: The move by 187 governments to alter a global waste treaty will mean further uncertainty for U.S. scrap plastic exports.

2 | Here’s a domestic outlet hungry for 3-7 plastics
FEB. 6: Many municipal programs and facilities have recently tried to cut back on mixed plastics, citing tight markets. But reclaimer EFS-Plastics has plans to open a third North American operation and is on the hunt for more mixed bales to fuel its growth.

1 | India to end plastic scrap imports
MARCH 6: The Indian government says it will ban scrap plastic imports, a move that threatens to further disrupt the U.S. recycling industry by closing a growing market.


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