Waste Management Inc. and MicroGreen Polymers Inc. have partnered to reduce the amount of plastic in landfills and lower raw materials costs.
A recent Series B round of financing generated about $6.9 million for MicroGreen from Houston-based Waste Management and other private investors that included Seattle firms WRF Capital and Northwest Energy Angels, according to a May 19 news release.
MicroGreen of Arlington, Wash., will use the funding to increase staff and expand commercial production capabilities for a range of consumer products made from expanded plastic foams.
We're excited to accelerate our growth plans for the commercialization of our technology and products, President and CEO Tom Malone said in the release.
The firm uses its patented Ad-air technology developed by researchers at the University of Washington and marketed in 2008 to reduce the amount of plastic required for manufacturing consumer products. Ad-air creates bubbles within solid-state plastics to expand the materials and improve their functionality by creating an internal microcellular structure that its creators say is lighter in weight, more insulating, strong and highly reflective.
MicroGreen later this year will begin offering a line of Ad-air enhanced recycled PET sheet in various gauges for converters, the release said. The company also plans to launch its first converted product a low-density, thermally insulating beverage cup that is recyclable and made from recycled material.
MicroGreen is targeting consumer food-service applications for its products, but plans eventually to move its technology into other packaging, transportation, electronics and building materials applications.
Waste Management President Pat DeRueda said the investment in MicroGreen complements his firm's recycling operations. The financial package also will help Waste Management meet sustainability goals of tripling the amount of recyclables it processes by 2020, and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.
As North America's largest residential recycler, we handle a growing stream of PET and other plastics that can provide the feedstock for Ad-air. This could create more value from the materials we recover, he said.
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