National Harbor, Md. — A new program is aimed at helping PET recyclers capture more material.
The Recycling Partnership is creating a PET Recycling Coalition to help pay for technology aimed at capturing more of the PET that already comes through the doors but is lost during reprocessing.
The coalition, which has yet to officially launch, will provide matching grants for equipment like optical sorters and robotics to increase recyclers' ability to capture more of the plastic flowing through existing sortation systems that would otherwise end up in landfills, explained Adam Gendell, director of circular ventures at The Recycling Partnership.
The nonprofit group sees an opportunity for recycling facilities to make targeted investments that will help capture more of the PET that's already on their conveyor belts. Grant money will make the projects more attractive for recyclers from a return-on-investment view, Gendell said.
"It's not as though we need to build a new recycling system for them, but we need to make some tweaks because we'd like to see a system that is more elegant in sending the right kinds of PET to the right kinds of end markets," he said during a March 7 interview at the Plastics Recycling Conference in National Harbor, near Washington, D.C.