Retail plastic bags by a checkout station.

Novolex reported that the company’s percentage of post-consumer resin used in 2020 was flat compared with 2019.| RosaLin Zhen Zhen / Shutterstock

Novolex, a major recycler and producer of plastic bags, recently reported that the pandemic created a “challenging PCR environment” last year. But the company sees signs for demand on the horizon.

Novolex, which operates two U.S. recycling facilities focused on PE film, released its 2020 sustainability report this month. The company reported that, of the plastic Novolex sourced in 2020, 4% was post-consumer resin (PCR).

“The percentage of [PCR] remained virtually flat compared with 2019,” Novolex wrote. “This reflects a challenging PCR environment in 2020 due to multiple COVID-19-related factors. Fortunately, we see signals from customers that the demand for recycled content is growing.”

A larger portion – 20% – came from post-industrial resin, the company reported, and the remaining 76% was virgin plastic. Those are the same percentages the company reported in both 2019 and 2018.

“Looking beyond 2020’s extenuating circumstances, the next several years will prove important in demonstrating the future direction of North American recycled content markets,” Novolex wrote.

Novolex also reported that plastic made up about 53% of its production output in 2020, slightly down from 55% in 2019. Paper made up the remaining 47% last year.

Additionally, the company reported that one of its European brands rolled out a new recycled-content offering.

“In 2020, Waddington Europe introduced our Eco Blend Pura and Eco Blend 100 rPET resin made with either 100% post-consumer or a blend of post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content,” the company wrote.

More stories about film


Baracco LLC