Flagging down new business opportunities from recycled film

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A new agricultural plastics recycling company is launching in Avon Park, Fla., with plans to capture used film that typically heads to a landfill or is burned.

As chief financial officer of Florida Agricultural Plastic Recyclers LLC, Younis Zubchevich said he can’t think of a project he’s been involved with over the years that has him more enthusiastic.

FLAG, Zubchevich said, is building on his financial background as well as President Joseph Miceli’s operational background in buying and selling recycled plastics.

The fledgling company is setting up shop in a former citrus processing facility where low density polyethylene film will be shredded, washed, baled and sold to customers around the world, the CFO said.

FLAG aims to capture film that’s used in abundance to protect crops on Florida farms but discarded after each growing season.

The company, the CFO said, already has orders in place to sell all the recycled LDPE it can process. Plans are to install two wash lines at the Avon Park site with employment to eventually hit about 25 once three shifts are operational.

Zubchevich said he was brought on board to help develop the financial aspects of the business last year, and he lined up low-key investors from Brazil, whom he would not name. Those investors, along with Miceli and Zubchevich, own the business.

Launching FLAG stems from Miceli’s acquisition of more than 30 million pounds of used LDPE agricultural film through the trading business, the CFO said.

“We didn’t know what we were going to do with it at the time, and then as we checked the market throughout the world we saw that there was a very, very huge demand for this if it were washed, cut, cleaned and all of that,” Zubchevich said.

Machinery will be arriving in a few weeks and it will take another couple of weeks for assembly before operations can begin, he said.

“The demand is outstanding today,” Zubchevich said.