APR cites enhanced recycling value chain

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Anaheim, Calif. — The supply of recycled resin is increasing and the value chain is being enhanced, John Standish said in a presentation at Antec 2017 in Anaheim.

Standish is technical director with the Washington-based Association of Plastic Recyclers.

In a case study, Standish said the biggest user of recycled plastics is corrugated drain pipe extruder Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. of Hilliard, Ohio.

Annually, ADS uses about 250 million pounds of post-consumer recycled resin and 165 million pounds of post-industrial recycled plastics content, according to Standish.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, ADS reported that it purchases in excess of 850 million pounds of virgin and recycled resin from more than 450 suppliers in North America annually.

Waste Management Inc. of Houston, Phoenix's Republic Services Inc. and Rumpke Inc. of Colerain Township, Ohio, provide postconsumer high density polyethylene to ADS.

DuPont Co. of Wilmington, Del., Silgan Plastics LLC of Chesterfield, Mo., Consolidated Container Co. of Atlanta and Alpla Inc. of McDonough, Ga., are among those supplying postindustrial HDPE to ADS.

Standish observed that technologies such as multilayered neural networks and vision systems are changing how recyclers operate.

Standish cited four makers of optical sorting equipment: CP Group division MSS Inc. and Bulk Handling Systems subsidiary National Recovery Technologies LLC, both of Nashville, Tenn.; Pellenc Selective Technologies SA of Pertuis, France; and Tomra Systems ASA of Asker, Norway.

Standish acknowledged that PET is widely recycled and noted that APR is promoting the "beyond bottles" collection of non-bottle rigid containers, residential bulky rigid plastic items and bottles with caps on. "We encourage the wider adoption of recycled HDPE and polypropylene," he said.

Members of the international trade association meet June 6-8 in Sacramento, Calif., and, among other agenda items, will discuss the California regulatory climate for plastics recycling.

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