A Brazilian company hopes the availability of scrap PET in North America, when coupled to the firm's innovative washing and grinding system, will lead to profit in making recycled PET flake. Cesar Pessotti, vice president of Steps Plastic Recycling in Miami, is completing the takeover of a 53,000-square-foot building to house Steps' proprietary equipment developed by the parent company, Steps Plastic Recycling SA in Rio de Janeiro. The Florida plant is scheduled to be operating in about 60 days, he said.
``We decided to try this in North America, because we see a very great supply of PET, and the opportunity to sell our product,'' Pessotti said in a telephone interview. ``We will be only grinding, washing and drying PET at first, but will be looking at the possibility of pelletizing eventually.''
The plant will use Steps' three-phase washing and drying system, developed in Brazil over the past few years, which involves separating nonplastic wastes from the PET in water, second-stage washing and grinding, all at the same time. The final phase quick-dries the flake in a ``highly polished'' state.
``In Brazil, we have to rely on inconsistent supplies from dumpster collections, and we recycle all types of plastic,'' Pessotti said. ``But in this country, we have already talked to several counties and their waste hauling firms to assure that we can get the PET we need.''
The plant should be capable of reprocessing about 11 million pounds of PET per year, assuming that customers can be found to buy the finished flake, he said.
``Right now my job is to find suppliers and buyers,'' he said. ``I have even talked to a company in Mexico that says they can provide the scrap bottles from there if we cannot find adequate supplies in the U.S. That is my big concern.''