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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

July 2020

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste and UN-Habitat announced a partnership aiming to improve waste and resource management strategies in areas with high plastic waste leakage into the environment.

The American Beverage Association selected Kenosha, Wis. as the next region to receive recycling infrastructure funding through the Every Bottle Back initiative.

Home Depot announced it replaced 7.7 million pounds of virgin plastic with recycled plastic in the company’s products and packaging during 2019.

The Pew Charitable Trust published a report identifying actions that could prevent plastic from entering marine environments. The American Chemistry Council responded, supporting some of the report’s findings but recommending against using other materials in place of plastic.

The Plastic Credit Exchange, a nonprofit organization focused on preventing ocean plastic pollution, released updated guidelines for businesses looking to account for and offset their plastic waste.

AMP Robotics was included on the Forbes AI 50, a list of the country’s most promising artificial intelligence companies.

Anchor Packaging, which uses recycled plastic in its thermoform products, acquired thermoform manufacturer Panoramic Inc.

Oceana, an ocean conservation organization, released a survey that found e-commerce customers want Amazon and other online retailers to provide plastic-free packaging choices.

Turtle Plastics, a manufacturer that uses recycled plastic, announced it has become a women-owned small business after shifts in its majority shareholders.

The University of Delaware received $11.65 million in federal grant funds to create the Center for Plastics Innovation, a research center studying chemical recycling.

Standards development organization Verra opened a public comment period seeking feedback on its Plastic Waste Reduction Program, a voluntary market-based approach to increase the value of plastic waste.

Pyrolysis company Agilyx announced that Peter Norris is now the company’s chairman and Tim Stedman will become CEO. Previous CEO Joe Vaillancourt will become president of Cyclyx International, a feedstock management company associated with Agilyx. 

Dow announced the pilot project ReflexNG, which will collect and recycle plastic scrap in Lagos, Nigeria. 

How2Recycle announced the creation of an advisory committee.

Keurig Dr Pepper disclosed that it pledged $10 million to The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition over the next five years. 

National Recovery Technologies (NRT) launched the NRT ColorPlus with Max-AI, an optical sorter that incorporates artificial intelligence technology.

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) will host a webinar covering the organizations’ Government Recycling Demand Champion program. 

The Last Beach Cleanup created a new webpage to show California’s in-state capacity for processing recovered plastics.

Zero Waste Europe and the Rethink Plastic Alliance published a policy briefing on legislation related to chemical recycling.

Chemical recycling firm Brightmark completed a pilot collection program for LLDPE boat wrap, which will be used as feedstock for Brightmark’s Ashley, Ind. plastics-to-fuel facility.

PET reclaimer CarbonLite installed new equipment at its Dallas facility to increase processing capacity by 20%.

Packaging producer Cascades and food supplier Vegpro announced that Fresh Attitude salad containers will be made from 100% RPET.

Consumer goods company Henkel issued a $70 million bond that will be allocated to plastic waste reduction projects.

Indorama Ventures released its annual sustainability report, which includes details on the company’s recycling operations.

Nestlé Canada announced an agreement to sell its Canadian Nestlé Pure Life bottled water business to Ice River Springs, a bottled water producer that also runs BMP Recycling, a PET recycling operation.

Polymer services company PolyOne completed its acquisition of chemical firm Clariant and changed its name to Avient.

SC Johnson introduced a bottle made from 100% oceanbound plastic, to be used in the company’s Mr Muscle window and glass cleaner products sold in the U.K. and Ireland.

Luggage company Tumi reported on its recycled material use, noting that the company has used the equivalent of 980,000 plastic bottles.

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment is hosting a virtual briefing titled “Plastic Production, Pollution and Waste in the Time of Covid-19: The Life-Threatening Impact of Single Use Plastic on Human Health.”

Chemical recycling firm Agilyx launched Cyclyx International, a “feedstock management company” that will help source scrap plastic for chemical and mechanical recycling operations.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) released a projection showing resin production declining in 2020 and rebounding in 2021.

The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act was highlighted in the House Democrats’ Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America. 

Packaging firm Eatery Essentials is investing $19 million in a Texas facility that will use recycled PET to produce food packaging. The processing plant is slated to start up in October.

Keep America Beautiful appointed Jacqueline Grace as the organization’s chief development officer. The organization also joined SoulBuffalo’s Ocean Plastics Leadership Network, through which retailers, brands, NGOs and other organizations engage on plastic waste issues.

Plastics Recyclers Europe published guidelines aiming to serve as a quality benchmark for numerous recycled resins.

June 2020

Equipment supplier Erema released a report covering the company’s activities during its 2019-20 fiscal year, which ended on March 31.

The Foundation for Plastic Recycling, a philanthropic arm of the Association of Plastic Recyclers, announced several new board members. The organization also received a $100,000 donation from PepsiCo.

Plastics Recyclers Europe published a study on the state of flexible packaging recycling in Europe.

Packaging producer Ring Container Technologies replaced its standard paper-based composite nut can, which is not accepted in recycling programs, with an all-PET recyclable version.

The Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) Board of Directors announced Linnea Keen will be the next president of the association.

Chemical recycling firm Agilyx began processing PS foodservice ware from a retirement home near the company’s Tigard, Ore. plant. The company also partnered with an EPS egg carton manufacturer to increase post-consumer EPS collection in Washington state.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste partnered with the United States Agency for International Development to address global ocean plastic pollution.

Diageo North America announced its Seagram’s 7 Crown plastic bottles will be made from 100% RPET.

Pyrolysis startup Encina hired Mylinda Jacobsen as global director of purchasing.

Assets from Canadian film recycler Enviroplast were acquired by flexible packaging producer TC Transcontinental.

Manjushree Technopack Limited launched an initiative titled “Born Again,” which will deliver packaging made from post-consumer PP and HDPE to the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

RecyClass published a recyclability evaluation protocol for PP containers.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced that Liz Bedard, director of APR’s rigid plastics program, has retired.

Analytics firm Clarivate released a report noting that although recyclable and biodegradable products are gaining prominence, this trend remains a very small part of the overall plastics sector.

Advocacy group Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) released a technical analysis concluding chemical recycling is polluting, energy intensive and has a track record of technical failures. In response, plastics industry group American Chemistry Council issued a statement citing other studies affirming the environmental benefits and potential for advanced recycling technologies, as ACC calls them.

Indorama Ventures acquired AG Resinas, a PET reclaimer located in Juiz de Fora, Brazil.

Security Matters, an Australian tech company, wrote in support of a carbon credit” system for plastics to reduce reliance on virgin and single-use plastics.

Equipment supplier Starlinger introduced multiple corporate social responsibility measures.

The nonprofit Plastic Diversion Initiative released a white paper focused on methods to improve plastics recycling.

Unifi, which recycles PET into REPREVE brand fiber, announced it has recycled more than 20 billion bottles, a goal the company set in 2017.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) announced seven more companies have joined its Recycling Demand Champions program: Fraser Plastics, Fusion Packaging, Intertape Polymer Group, rPlanet Earth, Sabert, Silgan Dispensing and Westfall Technik.

Berry Global will produce Philadelphia cream cheese containers made from chemically recycled plastic, through the company’s partnership with SABIC.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) announced the new directors for its plastics commodity division are Sunil Bagaria of GDB International, Scott Saunders of KW Plastics and Jonathan Cohen of Generated Materials Recovery.

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.