WASHINGTON (March 19, 1:05 p.m. ET) — Three operators plan to establish model programs for recycling thermoformed PET packaging.
The programs in Maryland, Nebraska and Pennsylvania are receiving grants announced March 19 by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).
The grant recipients are:
• Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Environmental Protection. The urban-suburban county, which is adjacent to Washington, D.C., has a 57,000-square-foot recycling center.
• Firstar Fiber Inc., a privately owned recycler serving about 1 million residents in the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan regions in Nebraska and the Sioux City, Woodbury County, and western regions of Iowa. Its PET thermoform collection efforts will focus on residential and away-from home programs, including sporting event education and collection at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
• Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center Inc., a non-profit recycler that serves 165,000 residents of Elk and Lebanon counties in rural Pennsylvania.
“We are extremely pleased by the selection of three such high-caliber operations to receive the grant funding. This program marks an important milestone toward keeping thermoform packaging out of landfills and making the recycling of them commonplace,” said SPI President and CEO Bill Carteaux, in a news release. “The diversity of these three grant recipients enables us to provide models for public and private operations, as well as for both metropolitan and rural areas.”
The grant program was announced in July 2011.
Placon Corp. of Madison, Wis., Solo Cup Co. of Lake Forest, Ill., and Plastic Ingenuity Inc. of Cross Plains, Wis., are providing additional grant funding.
NAPCOR and SPI received 13 proposals for the grants, and visited seven sites to assess the proposals.
“The quality and diversity of grant proposals was truly gratifying,” said Mike Schedler, NAPCOR's technical director, in a news release.
“It confirmed to us that intermediate processors of recycled materials in the U.S. are not only eager to capture and market PET thermoform material domestically, but have already begun to work through how to make it happen. We expect this program to result in successful, sustainable PET thermoform recycling models that will be replicable in other markets,” Schedler said.