A Canadian mixed plastics recycling company, one of the larger such firms in North America, has closed its doors and laid off 155 workers.
Entropex LLC, of Sarnia, Ontario, ceased operations amid difficult conditions for plastics recyclers due to depressed commodity prices for recycled resin.
The continued low cost of oil has pushed down virgin resin prices. And that hurts the recycled resin market.
Entropex President Keith Bechard spoke briefly in a July 19 interview about the closure.
“It's a difficult situation, absolutely,” said Bechard, who has an ownership stake in the company.
He also issued a statement explaining the closure.
“For the past several months, Entropex has struggled to meet the financial challenges caused by the dramatic decline in oil prices and a very competitive business environment. Despite our best efforts to reduce costs, the costs of operating Entropex business remain prohibitively high and unsustainable,” Bechard's statement reads.
“Because of our deteriorating financial position, Entropex's bankers decided earlier this month to call the Entropex bank loan,” it continued.
A court-appointed receiver, corporate recovery and restructuring firm MNP Ltd., is now in control of the company.
“Entropex management does not know if or when Entropex will resume operations,” Bechard's statement said.
It was less than three years ago that the American Chemistry Council recognized Entropex with its Innovation in Plastics Recycling award, one of three firms to be honored that year.
Entropex received the honor for its RigidReclaim recycling technology aimed at non-bottle plastic containers for all major packaging resins.
More than 70 percent of the plastics processed through RigidReclaim at the time were not otherwise recycled by conventional methods, ACC said.
But that was before oil prices plummeted amid the shale oil and gas boom that has rewritten the plastics recycling narrative.
Entropex ranked 13th in the most recent Plastics News listing of largest plastics recyclers in North America, recycling 175 million pounds annually.
“There is a possibility of it reopening. The receiver has indicated he is marketing this facility en banc and looking for a buyer that would be interested in restarting operations,” Bechard said.