Hilex Poly Co. LLC has completed an expansion at its recycling plant in North Vernon, Ind., adding 21 jobs and doubling the firm's ability to recycle post-consumer bags and film through its Bag-2-Bag program.
Post-expansion, the plant expects to recycle 20 million pounds of bags and film in 2010. Since launching the Bag-2-Bag program in late 2004, Hartsville, S.C.-based Hilex Poly has placed 30,000 recycling bins in grocery stores across the country.
The program has enabled consumers to return and recycle towel, tissue and bottle overwrap, newspaper bags and dry cleaning bags, as well as carry-out bags.
The North Vernon plant expansion is a direct result of the tremendous growth of plastic bags and wraps being returned to participating retailers for recycling, added Mark Daniels, Hilex Poly's vice president of marketing and environmental affairs.
Hilex Poly marked the expansion's completion with a Jan. 7 ceremony attended by Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., and local and state officials.
Before Bag-2-Bag and similar programs were launched, plastic bag recycling was often viewed as cost-prohibitive, Hilex Poly CEO Stan Bikulege said in a news release. Now, through innovations in recovery technology and logistics, Hilex Poly has helped to transform this category of recycling into one of the most cost-effective.
Hilex Poly operates nine U.S. plants and claims to be the world's largest maker and recycler of T-shirt bags made of high density polyethylene. The firm employs more than 1,000 and was No. 15 in a recent Plastics News ranking of North American film and sheet makers, with related sales of $504 million.
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