An Ohio plastics recycler is getting a multimillion-dollar investment from the beverage industry to help fund its growth.
Evergreen Plastics Inc., of Clyde, Ohio, is receiving $5 million from the American Beverage Association and the Ohio Beverage Association in conjunction with the Closed Loop Fund to help finance a previously announced $22 million expansion project.
Half of the $5 million comes from the associations through the Every Bottle Back initiative while the other half comes from Closed Loop's Infrastructure Fund and will help Evergreen double capacity by next year.
"This investment helps Evergreen evolve its business model, expanding its services to process recycled PET plastic into food-grade [recycled PET] pellets used to manufacture new bottles, while creating a strong local market for recycled plastics," according to an announcement of the funding.
Most recent estimates released as part of the funding announcement indicate the expansion will process at least 58 million pounds of food-grade recycled PET during the first year of operation. At least 600 million pounds of recycled PET are expected to be created over 10 years.
Recaptured PET will be processed into food-grade recycled pellets that can then be used to create new bottles.
"To build a truly circular economy and meet the demand for food-grade recycled content, bottle-to-bottle recycling is critical," Closed Loop Partners CEO Ron Gonen said in a statement. "This investment in Evergreen helps strengthen the market for recycled plastics and inspire other local markets and states to participate in building a waste-free future."
"Evergreen is pleased to partner with the Ohio Beverage Association and Closed Loop Partners to expand our Clyde recycling and manufacturing facility and accommodate the heightened demand for [recycled PET]," said Omar Abuaita, CEO of Greenbridge, the parent company of Evergreen. "This expansion project will double our manufacturing capacity of food-grade [recycled PET] and create new jobs while building on our company's commitment to recycling, sustainability and closed loop solutions."
Evergreen, earlier this year, announced plans to expand by adding a new 54,000-square-foot building adjacent to its current 238,000-square-foot location in Clyde.
Every Bottle Back now has provided funding for 10 projects totaling $10.6 million. Those projects, in total, are expected to capture an additional 647 million pounds of PET over 10 years. Every Bottle Back, backed by Coca-Cola Co., Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo Inc., seeks to back efforts to capture more used PET bottles for use in making new bottles.
Closed Loop Partners describes itself as investment firm funded by venture capital, growth equity, private equity and project-based financing to support a circular economy.
Greenbridge, originally established in 1998 to recycle PET into strapping, is now one of the nation's largest PET recyclers. The company processes more than 2 billion bottles each year at locations in Clyde and Riverside, Calif. The company, formerly called Polychem Corp., was acquired by private equity firm The Sterling Group in 2019.