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Industry Announcements


Plastics Recycling Update highlights the latest announcements from industry companies and organizations. If your business or group has a development to share, email [email protected].

Plastics Recycling Industry Announcements

July 2018

Adidas has pledged that all of the plastic used in its products will be recycled content by 2024.

Packaging company Alpla and equipment supplier Fromm have partnered to increase PET recycling in Germany, according to Plastics News Europe.

With support of Closed Loop Partners and Ocean Conservancy, an impact-focused investment firm called Circulate Capital has launched. It will help fund companies, innovation and projects that prevent ocean plastic in South and Southeast Asia.

A number of major industry groups have been meeting to discuss ways to advance the recycling industry, including the American Forest & Paper Association, AMERIPEN, Association of Plastic Recyclers, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Keep America Beautiful,  Northeast Recycling Council, National Recycling Coalition, National Waste & Recycling Association, Plastics Industry Association, The Recycling Partnership, Southeast Recycling Development Council, Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the Solid Waste Association of North America.

PepsiCo has reported the company uses an average of 9 percent recycled PET in its beverage bottles in the U.S. and 16 percent in its European containers.

The Recycling Partnership has released details on how to apply for its new Coastal Community Recycling Grant program.

Unifi, makers of Repreve brand of recycled polyester fiber, will provide grants to Pac-12 universities to support recycling, as part of Unifi’s new partnership with the Pac-12 conference.

FIMIC, in partnership with Spartanburg, S.C.-based Zimmer America Recycling Solutions, recently installed an RAS500 model melt filter to process post-consumer PP at Aaron Industries in Leominster, Mass.

Major grocery store chain ALDI has joined the How2Recycle program.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that its Hyatt hotels will make plastic straws and drink picks available only upon request after Sept. 1, 2018.

Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) released an overview of PET recycling capacity in Europe.

British Columbia-based Regional Recycling and international nonprofit group Ocean Legacy partnered to allow consumers to donate deposit beverage containers to the Ocean Legacy Foundation.

TOMRA Sorting Recycling appointed Rick Fenton sales manager for the East Coast of North America.

June 2018

Avangard Innovative founder and CEO Rick Perez has won an Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Gulf Coast Area from EY.

A group called Protect CRV has formed to advocate on behalf of California’s container redemption centers.

Researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) New Materials Institute released a report examining the market impacts of China’s limits on scrap plastic imports, estimating 111 million metric tons will be displaced by 2030.

Herbold Meckesheim‘s vice president of sales, Siegfried Engel, is retiring at the end of June 2018 after nearly 30 years with the plastics recycling equipment company.

IKEA has announced new 2030 sustainability commitments, including a pledge to use only renewable and recycled materials.

Keep America Beautiful named Noah Ullman as its new chief marketing officer and digital transformation lead.

Allen Langdon left his position as managing director of Recycle BC, British Columbia’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) group for printed paper and packaging, effective June 19. On July 9, he becomes president and CEO of Encorp Pacific, which manages the deposit-return system in the province.

Transparency Market Research predicts the global market for optical sorters, which are used in the recycling, mining and agricultural industries, is expected to experience a 10 percent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2026.

The American Chemistry Council announced that Cal Dooley, the group’s president and CEO, will delay his retirement until the end of 2019 to lead plastic waste reduction efforts.

The Carpet and Rug Institute will extend its voluntary stewardship program into 2019, providing subsidies for post-consumer carpet recycling in states without extended producer responsibility programs for carpet.

Jet Recycling America has hired Jim Vermich to the company’s engineering division.

Beauty products producer Kao USA will adopt the How2Recycle label for its packaging.

The Product Stewardship Institute has published a guide for restaurants and eateries looking to reduce the amount of plastic they provide to customers.

Compostable insulation maker Vericool, which bills its products as alternatives to EPS, and the Expanded Polystyrene Industry Association (EPS-IA) have attacked each other in a series of public statements over the benefits and drawbacks of EPS.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced the following new Recycling Demand Champions, which are companies that commit to buying recycled plastic and products made with recycled plastic: Avangard Innovative, EcoProducts, Unilever and UPM Raflatac.

The China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA) has announced that its China Recycling Plastics Conference/Exhibition will be held Sept. 13-14 in Dongguan, China.

The Food Packaging Forum has published a study looking at chemical safety issues involved in recycling plastics, fibers, metals, glass and multilayer materials into new food packaging.

Mexican PET reclaimer PetStar has joined a United Nations sustainable development effort called Global Pact Mexico.

The University of Portland in Oregon, Chico State University in California and Knox College in Illinois are among the first universities to ban plastic straws on campus.

May 2018

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) has announced it will release the Sorting Potential Protocols, which test whether plastic packages and containers of all material types can be sorted in materials recovery facilities (MRFs), at the group’s member meeting in Houston next week.

The European Commission has proposed rules that would ban a handful of single-use plastic product types that most commonly end up as marine debris.

The Foam Recycling Coalition has launched a new website, offering resources to increase the collection and processing of foam polystyrene packaging.

The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) has criticized the American Chemistry Council’s pledge to recover 100 percent of plastic packaging by 2040.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released a report suggesting government policies and industry actions that could improve plastics recycling markets.

PepsiCo announced that its 2017-18 national Recycle Rally program saw participating schools recycle more than 154 million beverage containers, a 500 percent increase from the previous school year.

Erema Group has reported consolidated sales of 155 million euros at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year, a new record for the companies in the group.

Gore Fabrics has joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s “Make Fashion Circular” initiative, which includes 20 brands focused on implementing circular economy principles in the textile industry.

National Geographic has begun a campaign called Plastic or Planet?, which will aim to raise awareness of challenges caused by ocean plastics and to reduce the amount of single-use plastic that enters waterways.

Project Effective has launched as a collaborative effort between a handful of companies in different sectors of the textile industry, including plastics recycling.

Recyplast S.A., a Costa Rica-based plastic recycling company, recently celebrated 25 years in business.

Pyrolysis company Bin2Barrel has selected Bollegraaf Recycling Solutions to supply an automated system to sort feedstock destined for Bin2Barrel’s Amsterdam operation.

Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), the industry-owned container stewardship group, will hold a collection event during which redeemed deposits will be donated to a local food bank. OBRC will also match donations up to $1,000.

TerraCycle and beauty products company L’Occitane have launched a recycling program accepting a variety of beauty and skincare products at L’Occitane store locations.

Unifi has received an award recognizing best practices in environmental and business sustainability from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Green Line Polymers has installed a plastics recycling line from NGR capable of processing more than 4,000 pounds per hour.

Brand owner Henkel will include the How2Recycle label on packaging for a selection of its laundry and home care products, including Soft Scrub and Purex Crystals. Also, protective packaging company Pregis will adopt the How2Recycle label, starting with its LDPE air pillows, which are used to protect products during shipment.

The PAC Packaging Consortium released its “Sustainability Checklist for Structural Package Designers.”

Organizers of the Plastics Recycling Show Europe (PRSE) exhibition and conference in Amsterdam reported greatly increased attendance over 2017, the first year of the event.

Pyrowave, a Montreal company using a catalytic microwave depolymerization process to recycle PS, announced that Jean-Michel Gires has joined the company’s advisory board.

Nelson Switzer, vice president and chief sustainability officer for Nestlé Waters North America, will leave his position effective May 4 and will join Loop Industries as the company’s chief growth officer.

The Recycling Partnership (TRP) announced that Love Beauty and Planet, a new Unilever brand, has joined as a member and will contribute $40 to TRP for each ton of greenhouse gases emitted during production of its products. TRP also recently announced that Niagara Bottling, a major end user of recycled PET, has joined its ranks.

TerraCycle and Barilla have launched a mail-in recycling program for Barilla’s instant pasta pouches.