Fernandina Beach, Fla. — There's a difference between a million and a billion — obviously — and Yashovardhan Lohia is using that to emphasize Indorama Ventures PCL's commitment to PET recycling: A million seconds lasts almost 12 days. A billion seconds lasts nearly 32 years.
Lohia, executive director and chairman of the environmental, social and governance council at Indorama, uses the math to highlight just how large his company's commitment is to PET recycling.
Indorama is both the world's largest virgin PET maker and the world's largest PET recycler. And the company only wants to recapture more in the years ahead.
Indorama has committed to spending $1.5 billion to enhance its recycling capabilities with a goal of recycling 50 billion bottles per year by 2025 and expects to spend just as much — or more — to then double that to 100 billion bottles per year by 2030. The number stands at about 30 billion these days. Expressed a different way, those bottle numbers equate to 750,000 metric tons (825,000 tons) per year by 2025 and 1.5 million tonnes (1.65 million tons) per year by 2030.
Indorama's recycling push includes the acquisition of three facilities in the United States in recent years. They included the 2021 purchase of the former CarbonLite facility in Dallas.
When Indorama purchased the Dallas site — with a capacity to recycle more than 3 billion PET bottles per year — the company indicated it then had the capacity to handle 10 billion bottles annually in the United States alone.
Lohia, the oldest son of company founder Aloke Lohia, told the audience at the recent Packaging Conference in Fernandina Beach, Fla., the PET business has to honestly look at itself in the mirror, embrace sustainability and leverage the inherent advantages the material has over other substrates in his view.
"In the past, we solely focused on the utility and quality, but now sustainability has become a determining factor of the proposition we give when we talk about packaging," he said.