Back to Top

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

April 2021

Chemical recycling company Agilyx and AmSty are exploring the development of a jointly owned processing facility at AmSty’s styrene production plant in St. James, La.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste selected 11 European startup companies to support through the Plug and Play Tech Center Innovation Platform, a venture capital program.

Consulting firm Eunomia Research & Consulting will develop policies to reduce plastic waste in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.

Green Tech, a Romanian plastics recycling company, began issuing carbon credits related to PET recycling activities.

The Plastics Industry Association published guidance that aims to ensure recycled plastic packaging meets and exceeds U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations related to food-contact materials.

Consulting firm Eunomia published a report, funded by Ball Corporation, assessing recycling rates for common containers and packaging materials in all 50 states.

Machinex and U.K.-based Sherbourne Recycling announced they have signed a contract to build a new MRF in Coventry, England.

The borough of Matawan, N.J. will launch curbside film collection through a project funded by SC Johnson. The brand owner previously funded a similar effort in Bradley Beach, N.J.

Social enterprise Plastic Bank announced it has prevented 1 billion plastic bottles from entering oceans.

RecyClass signed up additional certification bodies, doubling its capacity to certify recycled plastic content.

Equipment supplier ST Robotics released the latest model in its line of Delta robots, low-cost industrial robotic systems designed for high-speed picking on recycling plant conveyors.

Trex, which uses recycled film to produce composite decking products, launched a packaging labeling initiative as part of its NexTrex Retail Recycling Program.

March 2021

Consulting firm Good Company released a report it prepared for the American Chemistry Council, examining air emissions from pyrolysis facilities compared with other manufacturing sectors.

Keurig Dr Pepper announced that its Snapple beverage packaging will be revamped and the new design will be made from 100% post-consumer plastic.

Research and testing company Plastics Forming Enterprises (PFE) was recognized as an accredited laboratory by Plastics Recyclers Europe, which certified the company’s ability to test PET, HDPE, PP and PE to the RecyClass standards.

Tech company Thales and recycling operator Veolia released a mobile phone SIM card made with recycled plastic sourced from refrigerators.

The World Bank published its findings that there is a $6 billion economic opportunity presented by increasing recovery of plastic waste in Southeast Asia.

Amcor, CurbCycle, iQ Renew, Licella, LyondellBasell, Nestlé, REDcycle, Taghleef Industries and Viva Energy Australia participated in a project to chemically recycle film into candy wrapper packaging.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced new members of its Government Recycling Demand Champions program, a collaborative initiative with the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC). The new members are the city of Santa Monica, Calif., the Massachusetts Operational Services Division and the Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR). APR also announced its 2021 public educational webinar series.

PureCycle Technologies, a recycling startup using P&G’s PP purification technology, is now officially a publicly traded company.

RecyClass reported on the findings of an independent laboratory test of Performance PA SC15 technology, noting that the technology has limited compatibility with the polyethylene flexibles recycling stream.

SABIC released a life cycle assessment comparing virgin resin to its PBT made with chemically recycled PET scrap. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a foam foodservice container ban into law. A separate Virginia bill easing the regulatory environment for chemical recycling facilities was passed by the legislature and has moved to the governor’s desk.

Resin supplier Avient rolled out a masterbatch made with 100% post-consumer resin.

Equipment supplier Erema reported greater demand for its ReFresher modules, which deodorize recycled plastics.

The Foam Recycling Coalition opened a grant submission process to support additional projects that advance expanded polystyrene recycling.

Plastics recycling research firm More Recycling changed its name to Stina Inc. The organization also rebranded in 2017, when it changed its name from Moore Recycling Associates to More Recycling.

Smithfield Foods announced packaging sustainability commitments.

Unifi announced the winners of its REPREVE Champions of Sustainability awards.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste launched a request for proposals for projects that create new market demand and improve the quality of recycled plastic. Additionally, the Alliance announced five new members: Amcor, Atlantic Packaging, Inter Pipeline, Kirin Holdings and Novacel.

Anchor Packaging, a thermoform manufacturer that uses RPET, is investing $21.5 million in an Arkansas plant expansion. 

AST, a European producer of plastic containers, invested in a facility with a plastics recycling line for post-consumer and pos-tindustrial HDPE. Lindner supplied shredding, washing and sorting equipment. 

Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow reported that Mondelez International and PepsiCo agreed to reduce their use of virgin plastic, after As You Sow filed shareholder proposals with each company. Mondelez issued its own press release on its commitment. 

Environmental groups Basel Action Network, Center for International Environmental Law, European Environmental Bureau, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace MENA, the International Pollutants Elimination Network, Réseau Tunisie Verte, Rethink Plastic alliance (RPa) and Zero Waste Europe are calling for the immediate return of 282 containers of mixed municipal waste that were exported from Italy to Tunisia last year. 

Italian company Snips is using Eastman’s Tritan Renew copolyester to make water bottles and food storage containers. Tritan Renew contains 50% recycled content produced through a chemical recycling process. 

Hershey announced 2030 environmental goals, including making all of its packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable. 

The National Lubricant Container Recycling Coalition (NLCRC) has been formed by lubricant and plastic packaging manufacturers.

Plastics producer Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) announced that a package created with chemically recycled PP has won an award.  

Compounder and materials design firm Techmer PM introduced improved grades of a near-infrared-sortable black colorant.

AIMPLAS announced its participation in the DURPROMAT Project, a multi-stakeholder initiative in Valencia, Spain developing port fenders made from up to 50% recycled material.

Charlie Roos, co-founder of equipment supplier NRT and a well-known figure in the recycling industry, died on Feb. 20 at the age of 93.

Milliken & Company acquired Zebra-chem, a global chemicals company known for its peroxide and blowing agent masterbatches. 

Post-industrial plastics processor Mumford Industries began producing Retrieve film, made from 100% recycled plastic, for industrial and commercial use. 

Novoloop developed a thermoplastic polyurethane made from post-consumer PE, designed for use in footwear, sporting goods and other applications.

United Solutions, which produces the Rubbermaid brand of plastic products, introduced the ECO line of storage products that are made from 100% recycled material.

The Vinyl Sustainability Council recognized building products supplier Azek for increasing the amount of recycled plastic the company uses.

February 2021

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced that its Demand Champions program generated more than 175 million pounds of new demand for PCR during the past year.

The government of British Columbia approved single-use plastic bans for four more communities in the province.

Closed Loop Partners announced the winners of its Beyond the Bag initiative, which kicked off last year to explore alternatives to traditional plastic bags in the retail sector. Closed Loop Partners also released its 2020 impact report.

Industrial Magnetics acquired a majority of the assets of Walker Magnetics Group, a longtime North American industrial magnet manufacturer.

PreZero announced that its European recycled resin is being used in a variety of products in Europe, including buckets, clothes hangers and storage boxes.

Recycling Technologies, a U.K.-based technology provider, and a handful of academic institution project partners received grant funding to advance chemical recycling in the U.K.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced that Plastic Energy has joined ACC’s Advanced Recycling Alliance for Plastics (ARAP). ARAP members also elected Catherine Keenan of Agilyx as the organization’s chairperson.

Dow and Indian recycling fim Lucro Plastecycle announced they will develop and launch post-consumer PE resin made from plastic collected in India.

ExxonMobil introduced a new Paxon HDPE grade, SP5504, which has various properties that allow more post-consumer material to be incorporated into the resin.

Plastics Forming Enterprises (PFE), an independent testing and R&D company, announced Kristi Hansen as the company’s new president. Hansen has been involved in the development of PET recycling facilities around the world.

Revolution acquired Jadcore, a Terre Haute, Ind.-based post-industrial plastics recycling company.

Sonoco and The Kraft Heinz Company announced a project with U.K.-based chemical recycling firm Enval to process flexible packaging production scrap generated by the brand owners.

Verra, a standards development organization, launched a plastic stewardship initiative that includes a Plastic Waste Reduction Standard. The initiative was in development for more than a year.

Spanish plastics research institute AIMPLAS published research on a project that’s developing new methods of recycling artificial turf.

BlackBridge Investments is celebrating 10 years in business and recently moved into a new headquarters in Wall, N.J.

The Coca-Cola Company rolled out a 13.2-ounce bottle made from 100% recycled PET. The bottle was introduced in select U.S. markets for Coca-Cola trademark beverages.

The EuCertPlast recycled-content certification announced that it now certifies half of the total plastics recycling capacity in the EU.

Equipment supplier Krones joined the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, which carries various plastics recycling commitments.

Equipment supplier Nordson appointed Jesus Crespo as vice president of the company’s Polymer Processing Systems division.

PP recycling firm PureCycle Technologies named Tamsin Ettefagh as the company’s vice president of industry relations. Ettefagh previously held positions at Envision Plastics and KW Plastics.

Researchers with RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia explored recycling disposable face masks into a feedstock for a road-making material.

TerraCycle Regulated Waste launched a BulkPak Recycling Program, which collects hard-to-recycle materials, including personal protective equipment (PPE), coffee pods, lids and stirrers, on pallets.

Vitacore Industries, a Canadian personal protective equipment (PPE) supplier, launched a single-use mask and respirator recycling program.

The Foam Recycling Coalition issued a $22,000 grant to four nonprofit organizations in Greensboro, N.C. to help buy a densifier, allowing the groups to open a foam packaging drop-off location.

The Foundation for Plastic Recycling, an arm of the Association of Plastic Recyclers, launched a Buy Recycled initiative.

Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) launched a global recycled plastic supply tracking tool.

International Recycling Group announced it has an agreement to buy 25 acres in Erie, Pa. for a plastics sorting plant, which has been dubbed a ‘SuperPRF.’

MAAG Group will supply Royal DSM with several pelletizing lines for a plastics compounding plant in Evansville, Ind.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory released benchmarking data on plastics production, providing a baseline level to measure how recycling and bio-based plastics use will impact energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

RecyClass, which evaluates recyclability of packaging, approved three laminated tubes developed by Finland-headquartered Huhtamaki to be included in the RecyClass certification program.

Shell Canada will invest in a waste-to-fuel plant using Enerkem technology in Varennes, Québec.

January 2021

ALPLA Group will invest in an extrusion system for food-grade RPET in Italy that is capable of processing more than 33 million pounds per year.

The Canada Plastics Pact launched as the Canadian arm of the global network of Plastics Pact organizations that are associated with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The U.S. Plastics Pact launched last year.

Environment and Climate Change Canada, a Canadian government department, released a summary of comments on its Draft Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution.

SABIC and Plastic Energy announced they will start construction of a commercial chemical recycling plant in the Netherlands.

Summit Plastics, which is involved in PE film production and recycling, was acquired by private equity firm LongueVue Capital.

Tomra published a white paper identifying several components common to effective deposit return systems.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced that INEOS Styrolution America has joined the organization’s Plastics Division.

Global Fiberglass Solutions published an update discussing its business activities over the past year and announcing plans for 2021.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) is accepting nominations for its 2021 Design for Recycling Award.

The National Science Foundation awarded a $2 million grant to the University at Buffalo in New York to develop a robotic scrap plastics sorting system and to research chemical recycling methods. 

Tomra, Borealis and Zimmerman launched a plastics recycling demonstration plant in Lahnstein, Germany.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste announced five new members have joined the organization. They are Aspen Technology, Enterprise Products Partners, Greiner Packaging, Myers Industries and Tricon Energy.

Market research firm ICIS published a survey that found a lack of PET collection infrastructure is hampering the European Union’s goal to hit 90% collection by 2030.

Finnish oil refining and marketing company Neste invested in Alterra, a chemical recycling company that operates a processing plant in Akron, Ohio.

December 2020

Cleanfarms launched a pilot project in Saskatchewan to collect plastic baler twine for recycling. 

Erema reported on its 2020 activities, describing far higher PET recycling equipment sales compared with previous years. An Erema subsidiary also formed a partnership with Spanish company Cadel Deinking.

Fishing gear recycling firm Net Your Problem collected 12,000 pounds of nylon gill nets in California over the past few months through a collaborative program.

Bottled water producer Perfect Hydration will convert its 1-liter, 1.5-liter and 1-gallon bottles to 100% post-consumer PET in the first quarter of 2021.

Schupan & Sons announced that Johnson Go has joined the company as vice president of supply chain in Schupan’s Materials Trading division.

U.S.-based compounder Star Plastics and LATI, a European compounder of engineering thermoplastics, announced a partnership to expand their product availability internationally.

TechniSoil Industrial announced that its Neo recycled plastic asphalt has been applied on a street in Los Angeles. Earlier this year, the state transportation department used the company’s asphalt binder, which contains recycled PET, to repave a section of highway. 

The Unify Nations in Trash Elimination (UNITE) for our Oceans Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill establishes a $300 million fund for projects that reduce marine debris and plastic pollution.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste and IBM introduced a data platform to track plastic waste in the environment around the globe.

Equipment manufacturer AMUT will supply a PET bottle recycling plant in Australia.

Closed Loop Partners published a report highlighting opportunities and challenges with the plastics industry’s move toward bio-based plastics, biopolymers, compostable products and more.

LyondellBasell and SUEZ will jointly acquire Belgium-based TIVACO, a plastics recycling company that will become part of the Quality Circular Polymers joint venture.

Oceana released a report exploring Amazon’s plastic packaging and criticizing the company for making various recyclability claims.

Plastics Recycling Europe announced the winners of its 2020 Plastics Recycling Awards Europe.

Reloop announced an update to its Global Deposit Book, which includes statistics on container deposit systems around the world.

Research and consulting firm Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) published a report analyzing the use of food-grade RPET and recycled HDPE in water bottles in the U.S., on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association. RRS also completed a study on behalf of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, examining recovery of PET thermoforms in the U.S.

Additives company Struktol received a silver rating from the EcoVadis Corporate Social Responsibility rating assessment.

Agilyx announced Mark Barranco as the company’s senior vice president of engineering and execution. Barranco will focus on implementing chemical recycling technology around the world.

Break Free From Plastic published its annual “brand audit,” tallying which companies’ products most frequently end up as litter.

Eastman released its annual sustainability report and announced a goal to process more than 500 million pounds of scrap plastic per year using chemical recycling technologies by 2030.

Extruder manufacturer ENTEK named Kimberly Medford as its new president.

The Foam Recycling Coalition awarded a $50,000 grant to St. Lucie County, Fla., expanding polystyrene foam recycling access for local residents.

Keurig Dr Pepper announced that all of the PP K-Cup pods it produces are now technically recyclable.

U.K. manufacturer P. Wilkinson Containers began producing industrial plastic packaging made from post-consumer HDPE.

Procter & Gamble will begin the switch to recyclable HDPE tubes for its Crest, Blend-a-med and Oral-B toothpaste products in January 2021.

Republic Services published a report covering its plastic collection and recycling operations. The report was spurred by pressure from investors.

Zimmer America Recycling Solutions and STF Group completed a virtual commissioning process of a PET bottle washing and recycling plant in Haiti, because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Aquafil Group, a carpet producer and reclaimer, will acquire Planet Recycling, which collects carpet in Arizona and California. 

Consulting and research firm IHS Markit will merge with S&P Global in a $44 billion deal, which the Washington Post described as the biggest corporate deal of 2020.

Keurig Dr Pepper Canada launched the K-Mini and K-Mini Plus, coffee makers made from 20% and 30% PCR, respectively.

Packaging producer and PET reclaimer Klöckner Pentaplast announced expansions in Beaver, W.Va. and Rural Retreat, Va.

Environmental advocacy group Oceana released a report detailing the harmful impact ocean plastic pollution is having on marine life. The American Chemistry Council issued a statement in response.

Chemical recycling firm Pyrowave announced a joint development agreement with the Michelin group to advance Pyrowave’s technology.

Rachel Wagoner was appointed director of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). Former director Scott Smithline left the position at the end of 2019.

German recycling equipment company Sesotec appointed Joachim Schulz as the company’s CEO.

Bag brand Solo New York announced that its Re:cycled Collection line of bags is now made with ocean-bound plastic.

Star Plastics received a Corporate Responsibility Leader Award from Philanthropy West Virginia.