A plastics recycling giant in Alabama will likely be significantly increasing its output of recycled natural HDPE after receiving a letter of no objection (LNO) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
P&G, Coca-Cola and a handful of other major companies have committed to using products containing post-consumer resin in a range of storage and shipping applications, as part of a new program from the Association of Plastic Recyclers.
The upstream impacts of China’s import restrictions have been increasingly covered in national and local press, raising the level of public consciousness about where recyclables ultimately end up and how that could all change.
China’s import policy changes are straining recovered plastics export markets, particularly impacting mixed rigids. Recycling companies have been forced to stockpile and even landfill the materials, while numerous municipal programs have stopped accepting mixed plastics.
When it made landfall on Aug. 25, Hurricane Harvey became the wettest tropical cyclone to ever hit the U.S., dumping more than five feet of water on Houston. The resulting floods have impacted the recycling industry in multiple ways, driving up prices for virgin plastics, hampering freight systems and halting curbside collections.
U.S. and Canadian end users could consume more of the recovered plastics generated domestically if prices and specifications meet their needs. But a handful of converging market trends are standing in the way of significant growth.