Free-Flow Packaging boosts EPS recycling REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. — Free-Flow Packaging International Inc. boosted domestic recycling of expanded polystyrene by 9.3 percent last year to more than 8.8 million pounds. The amount was about 750,000 pounds higher than 1998.
Redwood City-based FP International collects the material and uses recycled EPS to make new packaging including its all-recycled Flo-Pak and Super 8 loose-fill products.
Post-industrial sources accounted for 65 percent of the 1999 recycled material, and post-consumer, 35 percent.
The company has seen a shift of 2-3 percent per year toward more post-industrial volume, Debby Hill, manager of corporate recycling, said in a telephone interview. The post-consumer segment accounted for 38 percent of FP's recycled material in 1998 and 40 percent in 1997 and, at one time, was 50 percent.
Since 1990, FP has recycled more than 62 million pounds of EPS packaging, enough to fill trucks stretching from Atlanta to Washington, the company said.
FP recycles EPS in Redwood City and Commerce, Calif.; Atlanta; Thornton, Ill.; and Newark, Del. Each plant maintains a public drop-off site for clean used PS foam packaging.
Calif. waste board levies $20,000 fine
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — California regulators have fined the owner of a former janitorial supply company for not complying with the state's recycled-content plastic packaging law.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board voted unanimously Jan. 25 to levy a $20,000 fine against William Yates, president of the former Chem-Lite Industries Inc. in San Bernardino, Calif. Chem-Lite was dissolved Jan. 1.
Chem-Lite did not certify that it was using recycled content in its plastic bottles in 1996, or that it took other steps to comply with the law, said board spokeswoman Roni Java. Chem-Lite had to show that it complied with the law because plastic recycling rates dipped below 25 percent in 1996.
Yates said the law does not apply to him because he is a distributor, and other companies fill the packages and make the bottles for him. But Java said California law defines Chem-Lite as the manufacturer because its name was on the bottle.
The Sacramento-based board also decided at the same meeting to survey 1,000 companies to see if they complied with the law in 1997. The board will focus on automotive lubricants, janitorial supplies, hardware and packaging for hobbies and crafts, Java said.
Carpet-sorting plant to open in Germany
GINSHEIM-GUSTAVSBURG, GERMANY — Nylon producers have joined forces with Europe's carpet industry to operate what is billed as the world's first automated sorting plant for used carpets.
The plant, expected to cost 1 million deutsche marks ($513,000), will have a capacity of 55 million pounds per year and should begin operating in early May. It will be run by Carpet Recycling Europe GmbH, a Ginsheim-Gustavsburg-based firm owned by nylon suppliers and 87 European carpet mills.
According to CRE, the Kerpen, Germany, plant will be the first of at least 10 such automated plants across Europe in the next five years.
The recycling organization has collected more than 44 million pounds of used carpet, of which 4.4 million pounds already have been manually identified, sorted and successfully recycled at several pilot plants.
DSM NV of Heerlen, the Netherlands, contributed technology to the operation. DSM, DuPont of Wilmington, Del., and Rhone-Poulenc Group of Paris plan to sell recycled-content nylon products generated by the plant.