A Canadian bottled water firm plans to set up a food-grade PET recycling plant at a cost of C$18 million (US$17.1 million).
Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc. hopes to establish the plant in Shelburne, Ontario, and tap into curbside-collected PET bottles in the province's Blue Box program. It expects to buy about 25 percent of the 55 million pounds of Blue Box bottles collected annually.
We have been working since 2000 on ways to reduce our carbon footprint, said company co-owner Sandy Gott in a telephone interview from Ice River's head office, located in Feversham, Ontario.
There is pressure on bottled water [companies] by consumers.
Gott said her retail customers support the recycling project. Ice River mainly bottles water under private-label arrangements.
Retailers are excited about this. Consumers want to see it happen, she said.
The project would be the first food-grade PET plant in Canada, Gott said. Currently PET in the country is recycled into various non-food-grade products and, when the price for recycled PET is low, it is exported.
Gott said her company's Canadian bottles are now based on 50 percent recycled PET and would go to 100 percent recycled content after the Shelburne plant is up and running. Ice River now is in the process of buying the relevant building there, a former auto parts operation.
Her firm's U.S. operations also are slated to switch to using recycled resin. Ice River has a building in Claremont, N.H., it could convert to a recycling plant that would source PET from the Northeast.
Ice River's Shelburne plant will use Amut and Starlinger equipment to wash, purify and repelletize PET.
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