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Builtrite adds distributors in the Southeast

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 20:18
Two Harbors, Minnesota-based Builtrite Manufacturing has announced the appointment of two distributors for the Southeast region to as part of its effort to expand its sales and service network throughout North America.

Ingram Equipment, based in Pelham, Alabama, specializes in truck-mounted cranes, garbage trucks, vacuum trucks, rolloff trucks and similar equipment, serving the solid waste and municipal markets. Builtrite says Ingram’s current operations make it “a perfect fit to handle Builtrite’s line of truck-mounted material handlers, stationary electric material handlers and attachments for the states of Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle.”

“After my initial introduction of Builtrite products from Mike Walter, its Southeast regional manager, along with a subsequent trip to its Two Harbors plant and visits to several customers, it became clear to me that Builtrite would be a great fit for our company and its vision of expanding our product offerings into the markets we already serve, in addition to those we would like to pursue, like scrap recycling,” says Jeff Martin, president and general manager of Ingram.

Spring Hill, Tennessee-based Utility Equipment Service (UES) will now represent the full line of Builtrite products for the Tennessee market. Specializing in the sale and service of bucket trucks, truck-mounted cranes, truck bodies and similar equipment, UES caters primarily to the utility, municipality and general construction markets.

“We were aggressively looking to expand our footprint in the Tennessee marketplace by offering new products that fit with our company’s capabilities, expanded offerings to our current clientele and expanding to new markets, to better diversify and allow our company to grow,” says William Horton, president of UES. “After carefully vetting the Builtrite team and its products, it became clear to us that we will both benefit through this partnership.”

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Pennsylvania MRF taps BHS to upgrade system

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 11:00
Penn Waste, York, Pennsylvania, has recently added new optical sorting and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to its single stream material recovery facility (MRF). Provided by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), Eugene, Oregon, the upgrade is designed to boost the facility’s capacity by almost 30 percent from 35 to 45 tons per hour (tph). This comes on the heels of Penn Waste’s addition of a SDS 800i drum separator from Nihot, Amsterdam, earlier in the year to increase their capacity to purify glass. 

The $3.5 million investment includes three new optical sorters from NRT, Nashville, Tennessee, and a Max-AI Autonomous Quality Control (AQC) unit. The Max-AI AQC employs a neural network-based AI designed to identify materials in a similar way to a person. Rather than using deterministic sensors, Max relies on its vision system and probabilistic decision making to provide robotic quality control for the plant’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers.

A new NRT SpydIR optical sorter removes small cardboard boxes from the container line. The plant’s high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sorter was replaced by a new, larger NRT SpydIR, which is followed by a new NRT ColorPlus that sorts the HDPE by color.  A new eddy current separator increases used beverage container (UBC) recovery. At the end of the line, the SpydIR that had previously recovered HDPE was combined with an integrated MetalDirector designed to boost the plant capture rate by recovering the last few plastic and metal containers that were missed by the main sorting process. 

The addition of the new technology has also significantly reduced the plant’s headcount.  

“While others are slowly adapting to the new reality, our system is running more material than ever,” Tim Horkay, Penn Waste director of recycling operations, says. “This upgrade was accomplished in just nine days and thanks to our partnership with BHS, we did not have to divert even a single load of material. The new container logic allows us to react to our new container-rich waste stream and capture more materials at higher levels of quality with fewer sorters. Commercial recycling isn’t easy right now, but thanks to this system and its upgrades, we are out in front and in a position to take on more material.”

“This investment in new technology is a testament to the ownership and management of Penn Waste and their commitment to their customers and employees,” Steve Miller, BHS CEO, says. “Completing a project like this in such a short timeframe was a challenge we did not take lightly, and our teams really stepped up and delivered. BHS is honored to have this ongoing and very successful partnership with such an excellent company.” 

A video interview with Penn Waste’s Tim Horkay also includes footage of the upgraded system in action, including the new Max-AI AQC:

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Cascades invests $21M to increase packaging production

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:41
Cascades Inc., Kingsey Falls, Quebec, has announced a $21 million investment in its Cascades Inopak and Plastiques Cascades plants in Canada to increase its production of food packaging.

The company says the investment will help it to acquire equipment that will increase its production of food packaging, primarily for the fresh protein market.

$15 million will go toward the Cascades Inopak plant in Drummondville, Quebec. The funds will be used to expand the existing building and to install a high-performance recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) film manufacturing line that includes a built-in decontamination unit. Cascades says this will make it possible to significantly increase the production capacity of Integral packaging, which is made from rPET, is recyclable and allows food in certain markets—such as fresh protein—to be kept for double the amount of time, thus reducing food waste.

Nearly $6 million will be invested in the Kingsey Falls Plastiques Cascades plant to modernize equipment, notably by adding a new extrusion line and two recycling lines, which will increase the production capacity by 25 percent and double the plant’s internal recycling capacity. The Kingsey Falls plant produces EVOK, the first polystyrene (PS) foam tray in North America to contain at least 25 percent recycled materials, according to Cascades.

“The strategic investments announced today will strengthen Cascades’ position in the food packaging segment, by increasing our production capacity thus providing the tools to increase our market share,” says Cascades President and CEO Mario Plourde. “They will generate more than 10 new jobs, primarily in the production and sales sectors, and will consolidate the 216 jobs that already exist in these two units. We are particularly proud of the fact that we lend our recovery expertise to the food sector and that we are taking the fight against food waste to yet another level.”

Luc Langevin, president and chief operating officer of Cascades Specialty Products Group, says, “In addition to our fresh protein containers, we are pleased to provide our customers with produce packaging that offers unique environmental added value. Cascades is the first company in North America to manufacture low-density PET packaging containing 80 percent recycled PET. Compared to the competition we can reduce the quantity of materials by approximately 10 percent for each container made. In addition to using fewer resources, our products are recyclable and provide optimum performance.” 

The announcement regarding these investments was attended by Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation; Alexandre Cusson, Mayor of Drummondville; as well as Cascades customers, suppliers and employees, among others. Cascades acknowledges the government’s contribution to this project in the form of a $6 million loan from Investissement Québec. Furthermore, Drummondville has begun infrastructure work in order to make the expansion of Cascades Inopak possible.

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibers. The company employs 11,000 women and men, who work in close to 90 production units in North America and Europe.

 

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NWRA expands government relations team

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:35
Chris Greissing The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), Arlington, Virginia, has announced it has hired veteran lobbyist Chris Greissing as vice president, federal relations.

“Chris is well known in the halls of Congress and in the halls of federal agencies. I am glad that he is joining the team at NWRA. Chris will be a strong advocate for the waste and recycling industry,” says Darrell Smith, NWRA president and CEO.

Greissing comes to NWRA from the mining industry. For the last decade, he led the government affairs team at the Industrial Minerals Association as the vice president, government affairs. Prior to that he represented about a dozen biotech and pharma companies on issues before the federal government. 

"I am excited for the opportunity to join the team at NWRA.  I am looking forward to helping our members establish and build relationships with government officials at the federal level," says Greissing.

Greissing received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from California Western School of Law in San Diego. Chris lives in Reston, Virginis with his wife and three daughters.

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ISRI submits comments on China to administration’s National Trade Estimate Report

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 08:21
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, submitted comments Oct. 25 to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) as the agency prepares to compile its annual report on foreign trade barriers.

The National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report traditionally includes a chapter on China and the challenges U.S. companies encounter doing business in China, ISRI says. The report is read by members of Congress and the global trade community, providing another venue to raise public awareness about China’s scrap import restrictions, according to the association.

The 2017 NTE Report on Foreign Trade Barriers is the 32nd in an annual series that highlights significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports, according to the USTR’s website.

“As with previous public submissions, ISRI argues about the potential negative impact China’s ban and contaminants threshold could have on the U.S. recycling industry when implemented by the end of the year as expected,” ISRI says. “ISRI continues to promote ‘Scrap is Not Waste’ and to encourage the adoption of ISRI Specifications as guidelines for material content and quality. ISRI also offers support to China as the government addresses its environmental problems.”

In its comments, ISRI says it supports China’s efforts to protect the environment and to increase recycling rates in China. “We have offered our support to provide information on best practices in the industry,” ISRI says in its concluding comments.

ISRI continues in its conclusion, “We agree and support the need to separate unusable waste from high value, specification-grade commodities scrap and will continue to advocate for the adoption of ISRI’s Scrap Specification Circular as the global standard for evaluating waste and scrap imports. Such collaboration would go much further to help China address its environmental concerns than would restrictions on imports.”

ISRI’s response can be read in full here.

For more information, contact ISRI Senior Director of International Relations Adina Renee Adler by email at aadler@isri.org

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US PET bottle recycling rate declines in 2016

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:30
Photo: iStock

The 2016 U.S. recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles was 28.4 percent, which reflects a 2.4 percent decrease in total collection volumes and an increase of more than 3 percent in the total volume of PET bottles available for recycling in the U.S. The information is courtesy of the “Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity in 2016,” which was released by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), Florence, Kentucky, and The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Washington.

The full “Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity in 2016” can be found on the NAPCOR and APR web sites at https://napcor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NAPCOR-APR_2016RateReport_FINAL.pdf and at www.plasticsrecycling.org/images/pdf/resources/reports/NAPCOR-APR_2016RateReport_FINAL.pdf, respectively.

“This was a strong year for PET bottle market growth, but another difficult one for the PET recycling industry,” says Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman, chief procurement officer for Plastipak Packaging Inc. and president of Clean Tech, Plastipak’s recycling affiliate. “The challenges we saw in 2015—low virgin resin pricing and uncertain demand in both recycled scrap and rPET (recycled PET) end markets—continued to impact the industry in 2016. Despite these obstacles, the volume of PET collected in the United States and utilized by domestic reclaimers stayed consistent with that of 2015, and rPET used in domestic end market applications was up.”

The report’s recycling rate is derived by using the total volume of recycled PET material purchased by U.S. processors (reclaimers) and export markets in 2016—1,753 million pounds—taken as a percentage of the total volume of PET resin used in U.S. bottles and potentially available for recycling—6,172 million pounds. Of that 1,753 million pounds collected, 1,374 million were purchased and processed by domestic PET reclaimers, with the balance of collected material, 379 million pounds, sold to export markets, including Canada. This was the lowest export volume reported since 2004, comprising 22 percent of the total postconsumer PET volumes collected, according to the report. Exports to Asia and other markets outside North America dropped 11 percent over 2015, marking the sixth year of off-shore export decline.

“The PET recycling industry has taken some knocks this year, yet continues to demonstrate its strength in terms of consistent domestic material purchases and robust use of RPET in end market sectors,” says Steve Alexander, APR president. “This is an established, vibrant and resilient industry, but its significant challenges make it increasingly incumbent upon the broader value chain—from collection to end market users—to address key issues, including increasing the quantity and quality of collection, designing bottles for recyclability and fostering strong end market demand.”

Total volumes of rPET used in U.S. and Canadian end market applications increased by more than 5 percent to 1,501 million pounds in 2016. Fiber, bottle and strapping markets all showed growth in 2016, while rPET use in sheet and thermoforms dropped, most likely because of the effect of low virgin prices on this market segment, according to the report.

NAPCOR and the APR say they continue to work to address the industry’s ongoing challenges, focusing on how to maximize the capture of PET from the waste stream, improve efficiency in processing, reduce non-PET contamination in recycling streams and encourage awareness and understanding of APR’s Design for Recyclability Guidelines.

This is the 12th year NAPCOR and the APR have partnered to produce this report and the 22nd year it has been issued by NAPCOR in its current format. Information for the report was obtained through surveys conducted by NewGen Strategies & Solutions (http://www.newgenstrategies.net/), Richardson, Texas, and by More Recycling (http://www.morerecycling.com/), Sonoma, California,  and from data generated internally by NAPCOR. Support also was provided by Resource Recycling Systems (RRS, www.recycle.com), Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The APR will host a “2016 National Postconsumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Rate Report Overview” webinar Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, from 1-2 p.m. EST. Visit https://www.plasticsrecycling.org/markets/web-seminars for more information and to register. 

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Agilyx adds foam densifier

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 06:43
Agilyx Corp., Tigard, Oregon, says it has received a $50,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition, Falls Church, Virginia, to purchase a densifier, allowing for more recycling of polystyrene foam.

The Oregon-based energy company recently expanded to include polystyrene conversion. The process uses recycled polystyrene to produce a styrene monomer and other petrochemical products, creating the first true circular economy for styrene, the Foam Recycling Coalition says.

“We are able to handle all types of foam polystyrene materials, including cups and food containers that might still have residue left on them,” says Brian Moe, Agilyx vice president of operations. “Agilyx is working hard to bring recycling options to the marketplace that have not existed in the past and is excited to see support for our efforts by the Foam Recycling Coalition.”

Lynn Dyer, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, which houses the coalition, says, “Companies like Agilyx provide the processing we need to help increase foam recycling across the country. Their efforts mean these valuable materials are able to be recycled in the communities they serve instead of going to landfills.”

Agilyx, which currently works with communities in the Northwest, has the capacity to process more than 3,000 tons of polystyrene foam annually, the Foam Recycling Coalition says. Adding a densifier at the front end of the operation will allow for more efficient recycling and processing.

The grant was made possible through contributions to FPI’s Foam Recycling Coalition, which focuses on increased recycling of postconsumer polystyrene foam. The coalition launched the grant program in 2015 to help fund infrastructure to collect and process these products. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Commodore; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii’s Finest Products; INEOS Styrolution; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; and Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA.

Agilyx is the seventh grant recipient. Nearly 1 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam because of the Foam Recycling Coalition’s grant program. 

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NWRA Women’s Council elects 2018 officers

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 06:21
During the National Waste and Recycling Association’s (NWRA’s) Executive Leadership Roundtable, the NWRA Women’s Council elected its board for 2018. 


 The officers and board members for 2018 are:

“I am delighted to serve as president to the NWRA Women’s Council,” says Smother, product manager, organic waste solutions, for Environmental Solution Group. 

She adds, “The Women’s Council will be celebrating its 15th year in 2018 and the members and the board have plans to recognize its contributions to the industry all year long.”

The Women’s Council fosters the professional development of women in the waste industry while striving to increase their business, financial and leadership skills through education, workshops, mentoring and networking. In addition, the Women’s Council offers scholarships to students in pursuit of a career in the environmental industry.

The Arlington, Virginia-based NRWA Women’s Council will award four scholarships at $7,500 each at WasteExpo in April 2018. The scholarship is funded with money raised from Split the Pot and decorated carts, which will be on display again as WasteExpo celebrates 50 years. 


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ICM readies for Asia ELV and WEEE recycling event

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 01:18
Switzerland-based conference organizer ICM AG says it expects more than 150 recyclers and suppliers to gather in Macau in mid-November for its Electronics & Cars Recycling conference. The event is Nov. 14-17, 2017, at the Sheraton in the Macau Special Administrative Region of China.

ICM says as of late October more than 150 delegates had already registered for the event, with more than 85 percent of them representing nations in Asia.

The keynote speaker at the event will be Dr. Axel Schweitzer, the CEO of Germany-based ALBA Group plc & Co. He will speak on the topic of “Boosting Recycling Business in China – ALBA Group´s Model for the Circular Economy.”

ICM says the conference “represents the most international gathering of its kind in the fields of electronics and cars collection, recycling, reuse and remanufacturing.”

Among topics to be addressed at the event will be:

  • ELV recycling;
  • electronics recycling;
  • e-mobility;
  • circular economy – government initiatives;
  • sorting and processing technologies;
  • manufacturer takeback schemes and recycling efforts;
  • reuse and remanufacturing;
  • transboundary shipment of reusable units;
  • funding and financing for recycling projects in Asia; and
  • dismantling versus shredding, best practices for highest ROI.

As part of the event, ICM also is organizing plant tours in China and Hong Kong Nov. 14 and 17 to the following destinations:

  • the ALBA Integrated Waste Solutions Ltd. electronic scrap treatment and recycling facility in Hong Kong;
  • Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Co. Ltd. plant in China;
  • Guangzhou Valuda Group’s car dismantling plant in China; and
  • Foshan Shunde Xinhuanbao Resource Utilization Co. Ltd., which operates an electronics recycling plant in China.

English and Chinese simultaneous translation will be offered in the conference session room, according to ICM.

ICM says the event remains open for additional registrations. More information about registering for the conference can be found on this Web page.

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Recyclers to gather in Warsaw in early November

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 22:04
Trade barriers in China and ramped up recycling targets in Europe will be among the topics of discussion when recyclers gather for the 2017 edition of Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe. The event takes place Nov. 7-8 at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel and Convention Centre in Poland.

The event’s opening session will focus on import restrictions being initiated in China. China’s Ministry of the Environment (MEP), China Customs and other central government agencies have undertaken facility inspections and issued directives in 2017 that have played a dominant role in demand for and pricing of many plastic and paper scrap grades. China’s government actions are poised to remain a critical influence for the rest of this decade.

The Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, opening session is titled “Gateways and Barriers: The Export Situation I” and will include a presentation created by Steve Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Company and president of the China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA). The presentation, to be made by Brian Taylor of the Recycling Today Media Group, has been designed to present the latest information gathered by the CSPA on China’s plastic scrap import situation.

Also presenting at the opening session are Craig Robinson, the purchasing director of Cycle Link UK, and Thijs Cox of Netherland-based Ciparo BV, each of whom has considerable experiencing trading scrap materials between Europe and China.

The conference’s second session, “Gateways and Barriers: The Export Situation II,” has been designed to offer updates on smaller but growing scrap paper and plastic trading partners in Asia, including the Indian subcontinent and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Another Tuesday, Nov. 7 session, “Getting on Board,” will look at aggressive recycling goals in the European Union and individual nations in Europe, and how recyclers, corporate stakeholders, brand owners and their trade organizations are responding to the directives and mandates.

The following session, “A Revving Engine,” offers a closer look at Eastern and Central Europe (including host nation Poland), and how and to what extent the growing manufacturing sector in those regions creates opportunities for paper and plastic recyclers.

Two materials-specific sessions—one for paper and the other for plastic—on Wednesday, Nov. 8, will allow presenters to focus more narrowly on the dynamics in the scrap paper and plastic markets.

The paper session will look at Europe’s mill capacity situation as well as the growing dominance of packaging grades to the overall health of the sector. The session “Plastic’s Bright Future (and Dark Cloud)” will examine plastic’s continued growth as a basic material, but also its status as a target of environmental scrutiny in Europe and elsewhere—largely because of its unwelcome waste presence.

Speakers on all topics have been lined up by the conference’s organizers, and include representatives from companies with a major presence in Europe’s and Asia’s recycling industry, including:

  • Smurfit-Kappa Group, Ireland
  • Paprec Group, France
  • Hamburger Recycling, Austria
  • Polski Recycling Association, Poland
  • CycleLink UK, United Kingdom
  • Gemini Corporation, Belgium
  • Asia Pacific Pulp & Paper, Indonesia
  • Victory Creations/Paperworks, India
  • Nextek, United Kingdom
  • Ciparo BV, Netherlands
  • RPC BPI Group, United Kingdom
  • Moore & Associates, United States
  • Steinert, Germany
  • Pöyry Management Consulting, United Kingdom
  • Bin-e, Poland
  • Recycling Technologies, United Kingdom
  • Kühne + Nagel KG, Germany; and
  • Vipa Lausanne, Switzerland.

More information on the event’s other sessions, as well as information on how to register, can be found here. For those who miss the online registration deadline, onsite registration will be offered at the event on Nov. 7 and 8.

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Aurubis reportedly eyeing acquisitions

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 21:15
The CEO of Hamburg, Germany-based copper producer Aurubis has reportedly indicated the scrap-consuming company has saved up some €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) to potentially spend on acquisitions.

An online article credited to Reuters reports that Aurubis CEO Jürgen Schachler, when speaking at an LME Week event in London in late October 2017, said the company has been able to accumulate the sizable acquisition “war chest” thanks to its low debt level and sound corporate management.

Speaking during a panel discussion, Schachler reportedly said Aurubis had “lots of fire power” and was looking in Europe and South America for transactions that make sense. He indicated the United States market also was in play, since Aurubis is familiar with that market and there is room to add capacity in the secondary copper production sector in the U.S.

In its “Vision 2025” strategic plan, which Aurubis unveiled in March 2017, the company indicated one of the expansion plans it was researching involved branching into the production of metals other than copper. “Copper has always been our main area of expertise, and it will remain a central metal of the Aurubis Group,” said Schachler when introducing Vision 2025. “But we are capable of more: gold and silver, nickel, selenium and other metals have been an established component of our portfolio for a long time now. We are pursuing the next logical step, from a copper producer to a multi-metal producer, and will broaden our position in this direction.”

Aurubis currently operates several scrap-to-finished copper smelting and refining facilities, including one in Buffalo, New York in the U.S. The rest are in Europe, located in Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The more than 150-year-old company, when profiled by Recycling Today in 2016, employed about 6,300 people working from 20 production sites (predominantly in Europe) and eight sales offices in Asia. At that time, Aurubis was producing 1 million metric tons of copper cathodes annually while also recovering from scrap and producing silver, gold, sulfuric acid and iron silicate. The company also operates downstream copper production facilities that create continuous cast wire rod, shapes, rolled products and strip and specialty wire and profiles made of copper and copper alloys.

(Photograph: Copyright Aurubis.)

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Michelin North America joins RubiconPro hauler buying program

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:55
Rubicon Global, Atlanta, has announced that Michelin North America Inc., Greenville, South Carolina, has joined the RubiconPro buying program.

With this addition, independent hauling and truck fleets will be offered discount pricing on new Michelin and BFGoodrich commercial tires and retreads. RubiconPro features fuel, equipment, financial, insurance and compliance benefits that previously were only available to the industry’s largest regional and national haulers and truck fleets.

The partnership with Rubicon Global, a leader in cloud-based waste and recycling services, also underscores Michelin’s own waste management priority—reducing the quantity of scrap rubber, textile plies and metallic plies used to manufacture tires that are sent to landfills, according to the company.

“Joining RubiconPro enables Michelin to ensure that small haulers receive the benefit of an attractive offer on our best tires for the waste industry, while also partnering with a company that shares our vision of reducing landfilled waste,” says Chris Mercer, truck segment operations manager, Michelin North America. “Since 2005, Michelin has reduced the weight of waste generated per ton of tires by 22 percent, and the weight of our landfilled waste has decreased by 72 percent.”

Michelin dealers across the United States can provide haulers and fleets with available discounts through RubiconPro.

Rubicon says its technology-driven waste and recycling model allows its network of more independent haulers to compete for customers of all sizes, operate more efficiently, and grow their businesses. The Georgia-headquartered company has offices in Lexington, Kentucky; New York City and San Francisco.

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Glass Recycling Coalition adds NERC as advisory member

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:17
The Brattleboro, Vermont-based Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) has announced it has been recognized as an advisory member of the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC).

GRC says it brings together stakeholders in the supply chain—glass manufacturers, haulers, processors, material recovery facilities (MRFs), capital markets, end markets and brands that use glass—to showcase their products to make glass recycling work.

NERC says it anticipates its involvement with GRC will help to inform and share its work with NERC’s new Glass Subcommittee. NERC’s Glass Subcommittee will be tasked with defining the primary glass recycling issues in the Northeast and identifying potential solutions.

“There is a lot of interest in supporting glass recycling in the Northeast. This sentiment was clearly expressed during NERC’s Glass Forum held in the Fall of 2015,” says NERC. “As a way to further the discussions and to possibly define a role that NERC might be able to play in promoting greater diversion of glass containers to the greatest value end uses, NERC has convened a Glass Subcommittee. The committee will be tasked with defining the primary issues in the region and identifying potential solutions. “

Members of NERC’s Glass Subcommittee include:

  • Brenda Pulley, Keep America Beautiful;
  • Brooke Nash, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection;
  • Cathy Jamieson, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources;
  • Chaz Miller, NERC board member;
  • Chris Nelson, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection;
  • Curt Bucey, Strategic Materials;
  • Doug Smith, Sony;
  • Kayla Montanya, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation;
  • Megan Pryor, Maine Department of Environmental Protection;
  • Michael Foote, City of Reading, Pennsylvania;
  • Natalie Starr, DSM Environmental Services;
  • Ted Siegler, DSM Environmental Services ;
  • Peter Schirk, BHS-Sonthofen;
  • Ray Dube, Coca Cola Bottling of New England;
  • Sarah Reeves, Chittenden Solid Waste District, Vermont; and
  • Steve Changaris, National Waste & Recycling Association.

For more information about NERC’s work on glass, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s assistant director, by email at maryann@nerc.org.

NERC is a multistate nonprofit organization that that conducts research, projects, training and outreach on issues associated with source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP).

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute study looks at how auto recyclers affect Massachusetts' carbon footprint

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 09:47
By reclaiming auto parts for reuse, then recycling the steel and aluminum left in vehicles at the end of their lives, members of the Automotive Recyclers of Massachusetts (ARM), Southbridge, Massachusetts, reduce the state’s carbon footprint by at least 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to a new study completed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

“Our members are focused on recycling every day, but this is the first time we have verified the collective positive impact our industry has on the Massachusetts environment,” says Scott Robertson Jr., a director of ARM and a member of the Executive Committee of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), Manassas, Virginia, which represents the industry globally. “We are fortunate to have the world-class expertise of WPI and the Metal Processing Institute here in Massachusetts to take on this analysis.”

The study, “Assessing the Environmental Impact of Automotive Recyclers of Massachusetts,” was sponsored by ARM and conducted independently by four WPI seniors as their major qualifying project to complete their degrees in mechanical engineering.

“What the automotive recyclers are doing is saving materials, saving energy and impacting the environment in a positive way, thus adding value to the economy of the state,” says Professor Brajendra Mishra, Ph.D., director of the Metal Processing Institute at WPI and advisor for the study. 

Through site visits and a survey of ARM member companies, the WPI team examined operations at auto recycling facilities across Massachusetts and documented their processes for reclaiming auto parts, recycling metals and capturing fluids such oil, gasoline and antifreeze to process properly.

The study found an estimated 165,000 vehicles are recycled by ARM members in a typical year. The team calculated the energy saved by reusing auto parts from those vehicles, like engines and transmissions versus manufacturing new parts. They also calculated the energy saved by recycling the steel and aluminum left in the vehicles rather than mining ores and refining new metals. That analysis showed 2.2 million tons of the leading greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), was saved by reducing the need to refine new materials and manufacture new auto parts.

By putting metals and useable parts back into the automotive supply chain, ARM companies help drive a circular economy in auto manufacturing, Mishra says. “We make a car. We use a car, and we completely recycle the car so the materials stay in the system, in a circle, and we want to do that for as long as we can.”

Fostering a circular economy across many industries is vital for the long-term sustainability of our society, Mishra adds. “The total primary resource available on the Earth is going down. The quality of these resources is going down. Whereas, with the increase in population, the demand for materials is increasing, so we have no other choice but to recycle these materials and put them back into the system,” he says.

The full study and a video interview with Mishra are available at http://bit.ly/2xzEjwf.

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Nucor Steel Memphis receives Platinum Supplier Certification from Caterpillar

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 09:17
Nucor Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced that its Nucor Steel Memphis Inc. division was certified by Caterpillar Inc. at the platinum level through its Supplier Quality Excellence Process (SQEP). Caterpillar presented the certification to the Nucor Steel Memphis team in September.

Nucor Steel Memphis is the only steel mill in the world to earn Platinum certification, which represents excellence in process control, continuous improvement, product quality and delivery to Caterpillar, Nucor says.

"This recognition by Caterpillar is a testament to our team's commitment to continually improve how we serve our customers. I want to congratulate each member of the Nucor Steel Memphis team for their hard work and dedication," says John Ferriola, Chairman, CEO and president of Nucor.

Caterpillar created the SQEP to recognize suppliers that demonstrate a commitment to excellence and drive a "zero defects" culture within their organizations. Certification levels include bronze, silver, gold and platinum, listed in order of increasing difficulty. Suppliers are certified through SQEP by meeting or exceeding stringent supplier performance standards, such as product quality and shipping performance, which are measured over the course of a year by a cross-functional global team of Caterpillar experts in the areas of engineering, manufacturing, logistics and procurement.

This is the first invitation and certification from Caterpillar for the Nucor Steel Memphis team. Nucor says this mill has supplied Caterpillar with engineered long bar in carbon and alloy grades since 2010 for use in track links, sprocket segments, idlers, ground engaging tools, hammer bits, transmission parts, gears and pins.

Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Its products include carbon and alloy steel in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold-finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Co. (DJJ), Cincinnati, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and hot-briquetted iron and direct-reduced iron; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. 

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Cost pressures squeeze margins in CMC’s Americas Mills segment in Q4 of fiscal 2017

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:51
Irving, Texas-based Commercial Metals Co. (CMC) has announced financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and year ended Aug. 31, 2017, which show an increase in net sales but a decrease in earnings compared with fiscal 2016.

For the three months ended Aug. 31, 2017, the loss from continuing operations was $32.7 million, or 28 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.3 billion compared with a loss from continuing operations of $2.1 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.1 billion for the three months ended Aug. 31, 2016. For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2017, earnings from continuing operations were $32.6 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $4.6 billion. This compares with earnings from continuing operations of $57.9 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $4.2 billion for fiscal 2016.

Included in the loss from continuing operations for the three months ended Aug. 31, 2017, were net after-tax costs associated with the refinancing activities completed in the fourth quarter of $11.6 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, costs associated with the exit of the International Marketing and Distribution segment of $23.2 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, and severance costs of $5.3 million, or 5 cents per diluted share. Included in the results for the three months ended Aug. 31, 2016, were impairment charges on long-lived assets of $24.3 million, or 21 cents per diluted share.

Because of the sale of CMC Cometals, which was completed Aug. 31, 2017, the results of this division have been reflected as discontinued operations in all reported periods, CMC says. Included in the earnings from discontinued operations for the three months ended Aug. 31, 2017, is an after-tax loss on the sale of the CMC Cometals division of $4.5 million, or 4 cents per diluted share.

As of Aug. 31, 2017, cash and cash equivalents were $252.6 million and available credit and accounts receivable facilities were $490.6 million. Because of the refinancing of notes due in 2017 and 2018 during the most recent fiscal quarter, CMC says it has reduced its long-term debt by approximately $240 million since May 31, 2017, and has no significant debt maturities for the next five years. The company also is positioned to have reduced cash interest costs going forward in excess of $25 million per year.

CMC President and CEO Barbara Smith says, “The company took action during fiscal 2017 to reallocate capital to our core manufacturing operations and improve our financial profile. The refinancing activities have strengthened our balance sheet to provide lower debt service cost and extend our debt maturity profile. We made good progress regarding our decision to exit the International Marketing and Distribution segment in order to focus our resources on the attractive long product markets in the U.S. and Poland. The Polish operations are taking full advantage of the new furnace and caster investments to produce more and higher value merchant product, and, in the U.S., we look forward to the commissioning of our new micro mill in Durant, Oklahoma, which is scheduled to begin in our fiscal second quarter of 2018.”

Oct. 24, 2017, the board of directors of CMC declared a quarterly dividend of 12 cents per share of CMC common stock for stockholders of record as of Nov. 8, 2017. The dividend will be paid Nov. 22, 2017.

CMC says its Americas Recycling segment recorded adjusted operating profit of $2.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared with adjusted operating loss of $45.1 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The loss in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 was largely because of a $38.9 million pretax impairment charge related to long-lived assets in our Americas Recycling segment. Shipments increased 37 percent in comparison to the same period of the prior year as flows through the yards remained strong and as a result of the seven recycling yards that were acquired earlier in fiscal 2017.

CMC’s Americas Mills segment recorded adjusted operating profit of $29.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared with an adjusted operating profit of $45 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Despite strong long-steel demand which resulted in an 8 percent increase in shipments compared with the same period of the prior year, cost pressures squeezed margins during the quarter, CMC says.

The company’s Americas Fabrication segment recorded an adjusted operating loss of $4.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared with adjusted operating profit of $9.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The decrease in adjusted operating profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was because of a competitive fabrication market. CMC says this has resulted in newly awarded contracts being at lower selling prices than in the prior year despite also incurring higher steel input costs.

Its International Mill segment recorded adjusted operating profit of $14.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared with adjusted operating profit of $18.7 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Despite the quarterly results being lower than the prior year, CMC says shipped volumes were 16 percent higher compared with the same period of the prior year while producing strong earnings throughout fiscal 2017. A strong construction market in conjunction with an expansion of higher margin merchant volumes were the main contributor to the results.

“Our outlook is somewhat different when we think about our U.S. operations compared to our Polish operations,” says Smith.

“Our outlook for demand from the U.S. nonresidential construction market remains quite positive in spite of a lack of movement on infrastructure stimulus. However, market conditions remain very challenging as a result of raw material price changes and escalating input costs,” she continues. “Metal margins remain under pressure due to the ongoing influx of dumped and subsidized imports. We saw a temporary pause in rebar imports after the announcement of the Section 232 review into the effect of imports on national security. However, recent data indicates another surge in rebar imports is on its way. We believe that no action taken by the current administration to address these unfair trade practices is likely to result in imports returning to their previous high levels, negatively impacting the industry’s operating results or potentially even imperiling the long-term viability of the U.S. steel industry.”

Smith adds, “Poland, however, provides a welcome contrast to the U.S. market. Poland and the E.U. have implemented trade measures necessary to provide a level playing field. This, coupled with the fact that there is good support and financial funding for infrastructure development provides a good demand outlook for our Polish operations.”

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ICM releases IERC 2018 conference program

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 06:48
IERC (International Electronics Recycling Congress) 2018 brings together more than 500 representatives from recycling firms, manufacturers, recycling associations, standards bodies, refurbishers, nongovernment organizations, regulators and other stakeholders in electronics recycling in Salzburg, Austria, Jan. 17-19.

Attendees will discuss a variety of topics:

  • challenges of the circular economy;
  • worldwide take-back schemes, quotas and challenges original equipment manufacturers face;
  • the role of recycling in the achievement of the sustainable development goals;
  • how countries and electronics manufacturing companies can close the recycling loop;
  • recycling of critical raw materials;
  • recycling of renewable energy equipment;
  • innovation in recycling technologies;
  • country reports;
  • supply chain transparency;
  • transportation safety standards;
  • business opportunities and models in emerging markets;
  • reuse and refurbishment data security;
  • the standards, compliance regulations and controls that support or fail the industry; and
  • recycling of hazardous components, such as batteries, lamps, LCD, mercury, etc.

The program also includes speakers such as economist David McWilliams and Jinhui Li, a professor and expert on the Chinese circular economy.

The event also includes an exhibition area with more than 60 booths, while cocktail receptions and a dinner facilitate networking with business partners, friends and competitors.

The congress will offer workshops titled Lithium Batteries Transport & Safety Issues and WEEE Recycling Prospects: State-of-the-Art Data on Stocks and Flows of (Waste) Electrical and Electronic Equipment, Components and Materials in the Urban Mine and plant tours of EAR – Elektronik-Altgeräte-Recycling, Montanwerke Brixlegg AG and Müller-Guttenbrunn, Metran and MBA Polymers Austria.

More information about this event organized by Swiss company ICM is available at www.icm.ch/ierc-2018

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Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference 2017: Quality pays

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:06
National Sword speakers from left, Craig Robinson, purchasing director, Cycle Link UK; Lai En, president, Cycle Link International Holdings Ltd.; Billy Johnson, chief lobbyist, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries; and Steve Wong, president of Fukutomi Co. Ltd. 

Plastic scrap imports into China will cease in 2018 as the country ramps up domestic collection and processing capabilities, said speakers in the Export: National Sword session at the 18th annual Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference, held Oct. 11-13 in Chicago.

In his presentation “Insight of National Sword Impacts,” speaker Steve Wong described China’s strong administrative power and growth over the last several decades. Wong is chairman of Hong Kong-based plastics recycling firm Fukutomi Co. Ltd., executive president of the China Scrap Plastic Association (CSPA) and a member of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) Plastics Committee and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Committee.

“In China, the administrative power is strong compared to other countries,” Wong said.

With this power, China announced in August 2017 that some 24 types of materials will be prohibited from entering China starting in 2018, including several types of postconsumer plastic scrap, one grade of unsorted paper, several types of used textiles and metal slags containing vanadium. (Prior to this, in February 2017 China launched National Sword, a customs clearance program to fight against the smuggling of various items, such as solid waste, particularly from the plastics industry.)

The Aug. 16, 2017, announcement issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the Ministry of Commerce, the Development and Reform Commission, the General Administration of Customs and the AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) is known as Announcement No. 39 of 2017. It spells out 24 scrap items that will move from being restricted to outright prohibited but leaves other types of scrap off that list.

Aug. 24 MEP released newly drafted limits on prohibitive materials in scrap shipments. The MEP draft proposes tightening the thresholds for “carried waste” (contaminants and prohibitives) to 0.3 percent for all scrap materials. The current level is 1.5 percent.

Wong recognized that there will be less quantity available and therefore less materials imported into China in 2018. He said a supply-demand imbalance situation will last for the foreseeable future. Over the next few years, Wong said a supply gap of more than 5 million tons in recycled plastic materials within China is anticipated. 

One of the goals of the policy change in China is to raise the recovery and reuse of domestic solid waste and promote circular economy, Wong said.

A trend in the global recycling industry, Wong said he believes in recycling at the source. He predicted there will be more sorting done at the front end at material recovery facilities (MRFs). “More and more recyclers are setting up their plants for sorting,” Wong said.

He added, “With this government policy, what we need to look at is … evaluating what we can do. In plastic scrap, there’s more than 7 million tons imported into China.”

Some shipping companies stopped accepting loads of plastic scrap as early as August 2017, he said.

Imported plastic scrap has been used by Chinese manufacturers as raw material in their production processes for cost reasons and to reduce carbon emissions, Wong writes in the Fall 2017 issue of Plastics Recycling. “The use of imported plastic scrap also can help to balance the quantity and quality gaps that exist in the country’s domestic scrap supply,” Wong writes.

China boosting its investments in infrastructure is a “very good thing,” said speaker Billy Johnson, chief lobbyist, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington.

Johnson said, “[China is] trying to build up their own infrastructure. We think it’s a very good thing that China is looking into it.”

Johnson pointed out that the U.S. has been the largest exporter of scrap for many decades. 130 million metric tons of recyclables are processed in the U.S. annually, with one-third exported. The value of U.S. materials exported is $16.5 billion, Johnson said. In 2016, the U.S. recycling industry exported $5.6 billion of scrap to China.

“This gives an idea of why China is so important for recovered fiber; China is by far our most important market,” Johnson said.

He shared that ISRI has met with members of Congress on Capitol Hill to discuss the effects of China’s National Sword, import ban and proposed 0.3 percent limit. ISRI President Robin Wiener plans to meet with China’s President Xi in November, Johnson said.

While U.S. recyclers are really feeling the effects of China’s moves most recently, speaker Lai En said the policy is nothing new. En is president of Cycle Link International Holdings Ltd., one of the wholly owned subsidiaries of Anhui Shanying Paper Industry Co. Ltd., which is one of the largest industrial papermaking enterprises and packaging board manufacturers in China. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong.

The current supply chain in China is not sufficient, En said.

En said, “In 2013, [President] Xi said we need to change. The current policy isn’t a sudden one, it’s been there. To be honest, they did give enough time to prepare.”

In mid-October En said his company had not moved any material for nearly a month at that point due to a limited number of deal opportunities as a result of import licenses not being renewed.

Speakers shared that the delay in or total lack of reissuing import licenses in China has had lingering effects.

“It’s a difficult time,” En said. “Quality is getting worse and worse.”

With questionable quality, En said, people will pay for quality.

“Who will pay for the better quality? The end user,” En said.

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference was Oct. 11-13 in Chicago at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.

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CLP hosts meeting about funding circular supply chains

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 07:43
Photo: Dreamstime

New York City-based Closed Loop Partners (CLP) convened more than 100 leaders from across the supply chain and investment community at Google’s New York City headquarters Oct. 5, 2017, to discuss the opportunity to infuse more capital into circular supply chains, according to the organization’s “In the Loop” quarterly e-newsletter released Oct. 30. During the meeting, CLP offered insights from a recently completed Capital Landscape Study. CLP says it will work with these and other leaders to bring new capital into this sector to increase the impact of their efforts.

The study looked at recent trends in investment activity, unmet demand, near-term forecasts and projections to achieve a fully circular infrastructure by 2030, according to the summary report of the study. “Through a series of surveys, interview[s] and analyses of third-party data, we have gained several key insights about where capital is—and is not yet—flowing,” the summary states.

The study was based on data from more than 130 municipalities, 440 private companies and 260 investors as well as numerous experts that have advised CLP. Closed Loop Foundation conducted the study with support from the Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets and Wells Fargo Foundation.

“In our experience deploying more than $30 million in loans and grants since 2015, we have often co-invested with other ‘concessionary’ sources, primarily public (e.g., state grant programs) and private philanthropy (e.g., The Recycling Partnership grants)," according to the study summary. "This type of capital is critical for creating more investable opportunities for mainstream investors."

The organization says it found more than $800 million of concessionary capital is going to recycling infrastructure and innovation. “Eighty percent comes from public sources supporting general operations for recycling infrastructure as it exists today. Unfortunately, very little of this can be considered “catalytic,” unless municipalities are increasing their ability to benefit from recycling revenue or avoid landfill costs.”

However, by persisting with a linear rather than a circular model, “We are missing a tremendous opportunity to unlock trillions in economic value and create a lasting positive impact on the environment,” the summary reads.

The study finds multiple benefits associated with building a circular supply chain:

  • 30 million more households would have access to convenient recycling;
  • 80 million tons of material would be recovered from residential single-stream recycling, a fourfold increase;
  • CO2 equivalent emissions would be reduced by 250 million to 350 million metric tons;
  • $7 billion in new revenue opportunities from recycling for cities and recyclers would be achieved;
  • innovation in processing technologies and business models would occur; and
  • circular manufacturing would generate $2 trillion in annual U.S. revenue.

The study found a number of barriers to further developing the circular economy:

  • private capital lacks visibility across the system;
  • a few players control the supply side;
  • commodities markets are too volatile;
  • capital seekers lack longer-term offtake agreements; and
  • innovative technologies exist but are too early stage/unproven.

 

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L'Oréal and Carbios to found consortium for biorecycling

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 07:11
French company Carbios, a developer of an enzymatic processes to recycle plastics, and Paris-based beauty brand L'Oréal have partnered to found a five-year consortium that will bring Carbios’ technology to market on an industrial scale. The partnership also is open to industries from other sectors looking to develop new plastic biorecycling solutions.

Carbios has developed an enzymatic biorecycling process for plastics that breaks down polymers to the basic components (monomers) originally used to create them. Once separated and purified, the monomers can be used again to create virgin plastic, without losing any value through the recycling process, according to the company.

L'OréaL and the other manufacturers in the consortium will benefit from the development of this innovation and will be first in line to receive the first available units. L'Oréal will use this new technology during the design phase for new packaging, thereby promoting the circular economy. 

“L'Oréal has been committed to an ambitious sustainable packaging program for several years now,” says L'oréal Packaging & Development Vice President Philippe Thuvien. “We currently use up to 100-percent-recycled plastic for several different products. We've decided to go even further: with this innovative Carbios technology, L'Oréal is helping to make biorecycling available on an industrial scale. It's a wonderful opportunity to protect the environment, and this consortium will also help boost the circular economy."

Carbios CEO Jean-Claude Lumaret says, “We are proud to have cofounded this consortium with L'Oréal. Our enzyme technology provides a brand new solution for optimizing the performance and life cycle of plastics. L'Oréal's commitment to sustainable development helps drive innovation, and we are confident that other international companies will join the project in the coming months to help us initiate a major transition in the way we produce the plastic materials of tomorrow.”

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