Wisconsin starts new push for plastics recycling

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 19, 2014 2:55 pm ET
Updated: February 19, 2014 2:56 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Recycling

Farms, commercial establishments and public events are all the focus of a new push to increase plastic recycling in Wisconsin.

Recommendations from the Wisconsin Council on Recycling regarding how to boost the recycling rate come as the state tries to divert more of an estimated $64 million worth of plastics thrown away in that state each and every year.

The council is a citizens group that advises the governor, legislature and state agencies on solid waste reduction, recovery and recycling policy.

And, last year, the group started working with the state Department of Natural Resources to identify ways to divert those millions of dollars’ worth of plastics from landfill disposal and toward raw material use.

“The approach has been to target actions that can be successfully implemented now, within existing budgets and policies, and that are supported by the private and public sectors,” said Rick Meyers, chairman of the recycling council, in a statement.

Here’s the council’s advice, starting with the need to work more closely with commercial establishments:

“Commercial establishments generate a large quantity of high-value film and rigid containers in their ‘back-of-store’ operations but are unaware of the recycled value of these products and how to recycle these through an efficient cost-neutral process,” the council reports.

So the group suggests an assessment of the amount, type and distribution of rigid containers generated, landfilled and recycled by commercial businesses.

The council also is calling for improved bale quality to create a higher value stream of recycled plastics for manufacturers and processors. This can be accomplished through training, outreach and work with the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers trade group, the council said.

The group also seeks to explore the potential to create a Wisconsin Grocer Rigid Plastics project, based on APR’s Grocer Initiative that strives to divert plastics generated by grocery stores.

Furthermore, the council recommends proving technical assistance on cost-effective processes to collect commercially generated plastic film. This push to collect that film also could include tips sheets and demonstration projects.

And, finally, the group recommends the exchange of information among plastic scrap generators and markets through an online directory to help boost recycling at commercial locations.

Another target of the council is the recovery of plastic bottles at public events.

“Recycling opportunities are limited at many public places, such as parks, special and sporting events, malls and institutions. A large component of this waste stream is single use plastic bottles in high demand by manufacturers and processors. Public events are an efficient and effective venue to reinforce Wisconsin’s message to ‘recycle everywhere and all the time,’” the council reports.

Recommendations include working with the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association to provide recycling at “highly visible high school sporting events.”

The group also calls for “Increased access to recycling bins by establishing a distribution network for recycling barrels that can be provided from beverage bottlers through the Wisconsin Beverage Association.”

When it comes to agricultural film, the group identified the problem this way:

“Wisconsin farmers generate a large amount of plastic waste. Recycling collection options are limited and many farmers burn instead of landfilling plastic film, releasing toxic air emissions.

Past initiatives to develop a convenient collection process have been problematic, but recent events are encouraging,” the group states.

The council recommends reconvening an agricultural plastic film working group at regular intervals to plan activities. Anther recommendation involves creation of a recycling manual to help plan and implement successful agricultural film collection events.

An agricultural film webinar as well as on-site baler demonstrations already have been held.

Work also has begun on some diversion ideas, including a pilot project to increase plastic film recycling, including bags and product wrap, from customers, businesses, distributors and warehouses.

That pilot project, the council said, began in the Milwaukee area but now will expand throughout the state.

Current council members represent industry, business, non-profit organizations and local units of government, the group said.


Comments

Wisconsin starts new push for plastics recycling

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 19, 2014 2:55 pm ET
Updated: February 19, 2014 2:56 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

PetStar doubles capacity at Mexico recycling facility

July 24, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Mexican recycling giant PetStar SAPI de CV, owned by the System of Coca-Cola Bottlers in Mexico, has doubled the capacity of its facility to 130...    More

Image

Injection molder, recycler Polyvulc USA puts itself up for sale

July 24, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, founders of Polyvulc USA Inc. and its subsidiaries Polyvulc Tire Recycling Llc and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC,...    More

Image

Beer maker Carlsberg enlists suppliers for 'upcycling' project

July 22, 2014 11:14 am ET

Carlsberg Breweries A/S in Denmark has started an ambitious project with its suppliers to optimize its packaging for the purpose of “upcycling....    More

Image

Grocery store chain says bag recycling up by 10 percent

July 21, 2014 2:54 pm ET

Kroger Co., with more than 2,600 stores in 34 states and sales nearing $100 billion, saw plastic bag recycling increase by 10 percent last year.    More

Image

Brownwater begins production of recyclable barge covers

July 18, 2014 11:22 am ET

Brownwater Plastics LLC of Paducah, Ky. has won an order for barge covers made from mixed plastics waste, said Environmental Recycling Technologies pl...    More

Market Reports

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Market Review & Outlook 2014

This special report from Plastics News examines the North American plastics recycling industry and provides insight into indicators that impact market viability, including Resin pricing trends for virgin and recycled market material and historical Resin production trends for post- consumer and industrial waste.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events