On top of its significant PCR use in 2023, ADS also broke ground on its Energy and Technology Center. | ADS

Advanced Drainage Systems continues to be a heavyweight in the recycled plastic arena, buying 540 million pounds of recycled material in 2023 and consuming a quarter of the pigmented HDPE bottles recovered in the United States.

The Ohio-based company’s sustainability report covering the 2023 fiscal year also found that 57% of its pipe revenue was derived from recycled products this year. That’s a slight fall from 2022’s 61%, with the report noting the decline is primarily due to “slower residential and agriculture end market demand.” 

However, the report also forecast a potential increase in demand for its products. 

“With recycled plastics making up 60% of our raw pipe materials, we are in a strong position to benefit from an increased demand of recycled material products,” the report noted. “Higher environmental standards for buildings and infrastructure may also increase demand.” 

The company noted it processes two-thirds of the recycled plastics it uses in-house.

Potential for ‘reputational risks’

On the other side of the coin, increasing demand for PCR from other sectors “could impact the cost of doing business, while stakeholder concerns about the plastics industry may create reputational risks across our value chain,” the report added. 

Scott Barbour, president and CEO, said in a press release that the company broke ground on its Engineering and Technology Center this year, a stormwater testing facility that will allow the company to more easily meet its goal of using 1 billion pounds of recycled material by 2032.

“This facility will enable us to bring material science, product innovation and manufacturing engineering under one roof, accelerating innovation and collaboration,” he said, adding that “as one of the largest plastic recyclers in North America, we recognize the important role we play in developing the circular economy for plastics.” 

A version of this story appeared in Plastics Recycling Update on Oct. 3.

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