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Industry Announcements


Plastics Recycling Update highlights the latest announcements from industry companies and organizations. For information on submitting press releases or contributing op-eds to us, review our FAQ page.

Plastics Recycling Industry Announcements

May 2020

Chemical recycling firm Agilyx partnered with the Portland, Ore.-area regional government Metro to offer residents a drop-off expanded polystyrene recycling program.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) launched the GRI Waste Standard, which updates, expands and replaces a previous GRI standard related to waste.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) named Adina Renee Adler as vice president of advocacy. Adler previously served as assistant vice president of international affairs for the group.

Plastics Recyclers Europe released updated guidelines for characterizing input materials into recycling facilities. The guidelines cover PET containers, PE and PP film, HDPE containers, rigid PP, PS packaging, rigid and flexible PVC, and more.

Eriez announced that Jaisen Kohmuench has been promoted to vice president-international.

Machinex launched a leasing program for its SamurAI sorting robots. The company also expanded its sales force.

The Recycling Partnership published its 2020 Impact Report. The organization also recently provided a $250,000 outreach assistance grant to the city of Baltimore.

Virgin PP producer Total signed a deal with PureCycle Technologies, which uses a scrap PP purification technology developed by Procter & Gamble.

The U.S. EPA released a statement urging Americans to recycle properly, in the context of providing feedstock for manufacturers experiencing high demand due to COVID-19.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) released a statement in response to the California governor’s executive order suspending the state’s single-use plastic bag ban and recycled-content requirements. In separate APR news, flexible packaging company ProAmpac joined the trade association.

Plastic container manufacturer Ring Container Technologies announced it is supplying food producer John B. Sanfilippo & Son with the SmartCAN, a 100% recyclable PET snack container that’s an alternative to composite canisters.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced that the Chemical Recycling Alliance changed its name to the Advanced Recycling Alliance for Plastics. The group also added several new members.

Disney released a line of apparel made from up to 50% Repreve fabric, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. Some of the feedstock came from bottles collected at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) applauded the federal Surface Transportation Board for decisions expected to reduce railroad demurrage costs. The American Chemistry Council also commended the board’s determinations.

Shredder manufacturer Lindner released financial figures for the company’s performance in 2019.

Carpet manufacturer Mohawk Flooring supplied a New York City artist with PET from Mohawk’s recycling facility to create an art installation visualizing the impact of plastic in the world’s waterways.

Chemical recycling firm Pyrowave received an investment from tire manufacturer Michelin.

ReVital Polymers partnered with community members and businesses in Lambton County, Ontario to produce face shields for the COVID-19 response.

Van Dyk Recycling Solutions rolled out Vision-AR, a communication headset that allows customers to receive more effective guidance from the Van Dyk service desk.

April 2020

Brightmark Energy dropped the word “Energy” from its name, a move the company said better reflects its mission and focus.

Recycled plastics processor Butler-MacDonald will ramp up its capacity to meet increased demand stemming from COVID-19.

The How2Recycle program published its Recyclability Insights report, which provides a macro view of the recyclability of packaging. 

Indorama Ventures announced a number of donations and other relief efforts related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Plastic Bank, an organization that facilitates the collection of marine debris, launched a relief fund for communities affected by COVID-19.

Unifi, which owns the Repreve brand of recycled polyester, named Edmund Ingle as its next CEO, effective July 1.

Toy manufacturer ZURU announced it will begin using post-consumer plastic in plastic stems and caps produced for its Bunch O Balloons product line.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced that its PCR Certification Program has endorsed three certifying organizations, and the program has certified the PCR of three reclaimers.

French manufacturer Awake is producing a watch made from recycled fishing nets and ocean plastic.

The EPS Industry Alliance awarded its Excellence in EPS Recycling Award to Kurtz Ersa, which developed the WAVE FOAMER chemical recycling technology for EPS.

Fortum, a Finnish energy company, introduced a hands-free door handle made from post-consumer plastic, in response to COVID-19.

JanSport announced it will launch the Recycled SuperBreak, the company’s first backpack made from 100% recycled PET.

Star Plastics has taken a number of actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including helping to distribute PPE, cash donations and perishable food items.

The Story of Plastic, a documentary highlighting plastics production and pollution, will air this week on the Discovery Channel.

Trex named Dennis Schemm as the company’s vice president and chief financial officer.

Vitasoy recently launched a 100% recycled PET bottle with material sourced from Hong Kong.

Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow announced that Republic Services will publish a report identifying ways the company can increase plastics recycling.

Circulate Capital and a handful of additional supporters helped provide essential hygiene toolkits to more than 2,000 families of waste pickers in Indonesia.

European Plastics Converters (EuPC) called for the European Union to hold off on its single-use plastics directive, which will restrict the production of single-use plastic products, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

How2Recycle published a Guide to Future Recyclability, which includes recommendations for companies on how to build a case for their packaging to be considered recyclable.

Recycling and packaging company Cascades will supply recycled plastic for medical visors to be used in coronavirus response measures.

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, published guidance on shipments of waste during the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) released a statement thanking Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., for his letter to federal officials in support of providing personal protective equipment for solid waste workers.

The New York legislature included a ban on many EPS products as part of its upcoming budget package.

Polystyrene industry initiative Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS) announced that Greiner Packaging joined the organization.

Troy University announced it is researching how to make personal protective equipment from recycled plastic and how to recycle medical plastics.

The Virginia Recycling Association called for continued recycling efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, describing the importance of products made from recycled material.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) released a statement calling for plastics recycling programs to continue collecting material amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Donation groups are asking for personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be sent to health care workers facing shortages of supplies in the fight against COVID-19.

Crowdsourcing platform Ennomotive is hosting a challenge to build an open-source ventilator with an eye toward improving mass treatment of COVID-19 patients. 

Snack producer Mondelēz International joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative.

The U.S. EPA updated its Recycled Content (ReCon) Tool, which estimates environmental impacts associated with buying or manufacturing materials with varying degrees of recycled content.

March 2020

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) launched the Postconsumer Resin Certification Program, which will endorse companies that provide third-party PCR certification and promote APR member companies that receive certification.

Polyamide supplier DOMO, materials manufacturer Covestro and supply chain transparency startup Circularise announced the launch of a platform using blockchain to trace plastics. 

Indorama Ventures, the world’s largest PET producer, announced it has recycled the equivalent of 50 billion PET bottles since 2011. 

Samsung is working with Danish textiles company Kvadrat to launch phone accessories made of recycled polyester. 

Former Owens Corning CEO Mike Thaman will lead UBQ, a startup that recycles mixed scrap materials into a plastic composite. Last year, UBQ provided 2,000 recycling carts to a Virgina waste management authority. 

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste announced five new members joined its ranks: Ampacet, Esenttia, Honeywell UOP, INDEVCO and Red Avenue New Materials Group.

The Canadian government ratified the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the last of the three countries to officially approve the free-trade agreement.

Resin producer Indorama received a $255 million “sustainability-linked ninja loan,” which is structured in a way that links loan terms to the company’s sustainability performance.

Composite lumber producer POLYWOOD released the Ocean Chair, a product made from ocean-bound plastic sourced from Plastic Bank and other partners.

Waste Management supported a $10,000 contribution to the Foundation for Plastic Recycling by selling “Party Pants” at the company’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. The clothing was made from Unifi’s Repreve recycled polyester fabric.

Encina Development Group, which processes scrap plastic into chemicals and fuels, promoted Carlo Badiola to senior vice president of engineering and technology.

Beverage packaging supplier Hi-Cone released its first State of Plastic Recycling report. 

Indorama Ventures and the Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines will form a joint PET recycling venture in the Philippines.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) approved a policy on extended producer responsibility (EPR) at the group’s winter board meeting in Nashville, Tenn. ISRI also passed its 2020 advocacy agenda.

L’Oreal signed an offtake agreement to use 100% recycled PET produced through Loop Industries’ depolymerization technology.

Machinex is celebrating 50 years in the equipment manufacturing business.

Equipment provider Tomra joined polystyrene industry initiative Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS).

Vecoplan hired Kirsti Nelson to head the company’s marketing department and Mike Wilhoit to lead its after-market department.

Standards development organization Verra is seeking a consultant to provide technical input into accounting methodologies for projects that will utilize the group’s plastics recovery and recycling standard.

Polyolefins producer Braskem announced that an expansion project at its Innovation and Technology Center in Pittsburgh will use construction blocks made of post-consumer scrap plastic.

Industrial Magnetics announced that the company saw record deliveries of its products in 2019.

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) launched an initiative to grow recycled plastic demand among government entities. APR also partnered with the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) on a guide laying out the design impacts of foodservice packaging recyclability.

Plastic Bank launched operations in Egypt in partnership with German chemical firm Henkel.

February 2020

Portugese manufacturer Fapil launched a line of household products made from recycled marine plastic supplied by Waste Free Oceans.

Toy manufacturer Little Tikes rolled out a “Go Green” line of toys made from post-consumer and post-industrial recycled plastic.

OPIS PetroChemWire released a free report detailing how 2019 recycled plastics pricing trends have set the stage for the 2020 market.

The Tennessee Aquarium and iSustain are partnering on a research project studying microplastics.

Tomra Sorting Recycling published an e-book about artificial intelligence and its implications for the recycling industry.

Waste Management outlined its decision to increase PCR use in recycling carts.

Amcor developed a 100% post-consumer resin bottle for a multi-vitamin product. 

Avery Dennison launched a label liner for paper facestocks in North America that is made with 30% post-consumer PET. 

BASF is launching its reciChain platform in British Columbia; the blockchain-based project is focused on improving the traceability of recycled plastics. 

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) approved pilot mobile takeback and bag-drop collection programs for redeeming beverage containers in San Francisco and Culver City. 

Closed Loop Partners released its 2019 Impact Report.  

The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) launched a three-year marketing campaign, Positively PET, to establish a positive voice for PET. 

Unifi announced the recipients of its third-annual Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards.

Austin Resource Recovery, an Austin, Texas city department, received a $45,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition to increase processing of post-consumer foam polystyrene.

PET reclaimer PetStar received the Ibero-American Quality Award, which recognizes “excellence in process quality control and innovation.”

Plastics Recyclers Europe and other groups released a report covering PET recycling market trends in Europe.

Composite decking manufacturer Trex released a cladding product made from recycled film and wood fiber. The company published a brochure about the cladding material.

Adidas will use 100% recycled polyester fabrics, including one material made partially from ocean plastics.

The AZEK Company, which owns a variety of building and outdoor living product brands, acquired PVC recycler and compounder Return Polymers.

Consolidated Container Co., parent company to reclaimer Envision Plastics, changed its name to Altium Packaging.

Plastic Bank reported on its 2019 progress, noting the organization is now collecting more than 2.2 million pounds of ocean-bound plastic per month.

Styrenics Circular Solutions and Pyrowave will collaborate to evaluate Pyrowave’s proprietary depolymerization technology.

The U.S. Energy Department and American Chemistry Council will collaborate to develop plastics recycling technologies, building on the department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge of 2019.

Waste Management joined the Association of Plastic Recyclers’ Demand Champions program, pledging to buy recycling carts made from 10% PCR.