Revolution Co. is extending its plastic recycling capabilities to now include low density polyethylene stretch film.
The Little Rock, Ark.-based company has long been known for plastic recycling in general and irrigation tubing and agricultural film specifically.
With the company's recent acquisition of Five Points Films, Revolution now is accelerating efforts to recycle used stretch wrap into new pellets that the company uses internally and sells to third parties.
Revolution started its stretch film recycling efforts at its facility in Stuttgart, Ark., prior to the Five Points acquisition in August and accelerated those efforts once the company had its first stretch film manufacturing location in Shelbyville, Tenn., said Cherish Changala-Miller, Revolution's vice president of sustainability and public affairs.
"We've been doing it to some extent over the last year, been working with the stretch film and recycling it. But we are truly putting a focused effort on it as we brought on the Five Points as part of Revolution that provides stretch film for the marketplace," she said.
To jump-start the program, Revolution has been buying stretch film on the market through different brokers. This has allowed the company to create the new pellets that then can find their way into new products such as trash can liners, reusable bags and construction film.
"Really our main focus is doing as much as we can adding PCR [post-consumer resin] into our stretch film line," Changala-Miller said.
Recycled LDPE pellets, made from stretch film, are also sold to third-party companies for their own use.
"We have sold some of the stretch film material outside and we used some of it internally so far. But what we're really focused on now is driving the circularity within our own stretch film customers," she said.
The idea, Changala-Miller said, is to eventually have enough volume to allow the recycled stretch film pellets to find their way back to the Five Points manufacturing plant for inclusion into new stretch film.
"We really wanted to find a way to create circularity within that space and put PCR into those product lines that were legacy Five Points," she said.
The goal is to recapture and put as much recycled content into the company's stretch film in a way that mirrors the company's other recycling efforts.
"That's what we've tried to do in other product lines," Changala-Miller said. "We hope that by showing that Revolution is not just doing ag film, we're doing these other films, that we can be part of the solution for these other films in the marketplace that need to be recycled."
Revolution, earlier this year, rebranded the company to unify under a single name after a series of acquisitions over the years.
The company jumped to No. 7 in the new Plastics News list of recyclers in North America, with an estimated 315 million pounds of material reprocessed annually. That's up from No. 14 in last year's list and No. 23 the year before. The march up the rankings has been fueled, in part, by the company's acquisition of plastics recycler Jadcore LLC of Terre Haute, Ind., in February 2021.
While making a series of acquisitions over the years, including Five Points, Revolution itself was acquired by private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners in 2019.