One of the bigger recycling challenges in plastic packaging right now is polypropylene containers, which we see all over grocery aisles protecting staples like yogurt and butter.
As packaging professionals know, it's very widely used because it performs well, but right now it's got a recycling rate somewhere near abysmal — 2.7 percent in 2018.
Enter an industry-funded group, The Recycling Partnership. It announced its first grants Dec. 8 to try to improve those statistics, earmarking $2 million to four local recycling facilities it said will expand PP recycling to an additional 4 million people.
The partnership said it's giving grants to materials recovery facilities in New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
It's the first round of investments from the partnership's Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, a $35 million effort that launched in July with founding support from resin maker Braskem, the Walmart Foundation and others.
The coalition has an ultimate goal making PP a reliable third leg of plastics recycling alongside PET and high density polyethylene. It is accepting applications for its next round of funding through March 31. Here's Steve Toloken's story from earlier this year looking at the challenges and opportunities.