Privately owned plastic recycler Parc Corp. has recently relocated its headquarters to a larger facility.
The new, 120,000-square-foot location in Romeoville, Ill., is three times the size of Parc's previous location, in nearby North Aurora.
``The move was necessary due to increased business,'' founder and owner Kathy Xuan said in a telephone interview.
The company has doubled its workforce there to 40 and added a two-ram baler and four grinders to strengthen local service in North America.
The expanded U.S. production complements the firm's full-service recycling plant in Qingdao, China.
Parc purchases, reprocesses and markets more than 80 million pounds of recovered plastic annually, including residential, post-commercial and post-industrial grades, and sells its product to customers in the United States, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.
``Due to the currency exchange rates, the U.S. luckily has a big advantage to ship plastic waste to China and Asia in general, while European sellers suffer from the strengthening euro against [the] yuan,'' Xuan said.
The new trend is to send higher-end materials into China, instead of low-end materials that are labor-intensive to recycle. In particular, she pointed out, China is thirsty for specialty grades for the auto and electronics industry.
That's Xuan's new project: to market U.S. specialty compounds to growing auto and electronics suppliers in China.
``Most resins available on the [Chinese] market are generic,'' she said. ``It's hard to find custom-made resin grades for certain products, brands or models. Chinese suppliers eagerly want materials.''
Xuan said that she hopes to start by selling those specialty materials to auto suppliers in Qingdao. She added that Parc is in search of U.S. partners to help tap that market.
``We need material such as recyclable parts, formulas, and compounding technology,'' Xuan said.
The company's 100,000-square-foot facility in Qingdao sorts, grinds, bales, shreds and makes reprocessed pellets. Xuan said the factory currently runs three twin-screw extruders.
Parc also operates regional offices in Beijing, Tianjin and Shunde, China.