Avangard Innovative to produce recycled LDPE pellets

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Houston-based Avangard Innovative (AI) says it is investing $10 million to build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that will convert low-density polyethylene (LDPE) film packaging scrap into high-quality postconsumer resin (PCR) to be used in film production.

“With our past success in the PCR PET recycle streams, we are very excited about this new venture,” says AI CEO Rick Perez. “With this new LDPE plant, we can vertically integrate and utilize one of the largest streams of material we manage today.”

AI says it manages approximately 100 million pounds of PE film scrap annually from the retail sector and from other generators throughout the Americas. Vertically integrating allows AI to close the loop by supplying PCR PE for use in the production of new film. The company says it has researched the various generating streams in the market and has designated specific streams that will produce PCR that can meet the critical properties needed for film applications.

Jon Stephens, executive vice president of AI, says, “We aim to be a solution with our PCR to be used in the highest end application possible and are committed to being fully engaged as change makers within the circular economy.”

Strategic partnerships and new technological advancements guarantee the highest quality PCR in the marketplace today, AI says. The company’s new PCR LDPE processing plant boasts an upfront processing system that includes the latest technology in extrusion, filtration and odor reduction. The plant will use optical sorting technology from Nashville, Tennessee-based MSS, with the film being processed using two recoSTAR 165 C-VAC extruders manufactured by Germany-based Starlinger.

The plant will generate approximately 30 jobs and will operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, AI says.

Phase one production is targeted to begin August 2017, according to the company. The plant will be fully operational by October 2017, with a total capacity of 48 million pounds annually.

Closed Loop Fund seeks to develop infrastructure for PP recycling

Closed Loop Fund (CLF), an investment fund that finances recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing technologies, has announced it’s requesting proposals for projects that collect, sort and/or process postconsumer polypropylene (PP). More details on the request for proposals is available at http://bit.ly/2oG2KWP.

CLF says PP recovery could be increased with the development of proper infrastructure, driving cost savings for municipalities, increasing revenue for material recovery facility (MRF) operators and supplying more high-value secondary raw materials to manufacturers.

“Research indicates that MRFs can profitably sort PP by upgrading or expanding sorting equipment, as well as by leveraging innovative technologies,” CLF says in a news release announcing the available funding. “In addition, plastic recovery facilities (PRFs) and secondary MRFs can drive value to MRFs by purchasing ‘mixed’ bales of plastic and further sorting for value. The profitability and applicability of solutions can vary depending on the local context, including volumes, collection programs, population and end market proximity. CLF is interested in any project that addresses the above situation.”

CLF support includes providing flexible, below-market financing and technical assistance to update their facilities and equipment to increase PP recycling; up to $5 million per project with loan terms ranging from three to eight years and aid in arranging additional financing, if needed; and equipment purchase, lease financing, working capital and real estate or facility loans for refinancing or expansion.

The borrower or a sponsor must contribute 10 percent of the project’s total funding in equity, CLF says, adding that preference will be given to applicants who are experienced MRF or PRF operators or recycling professionals with existing operations; those that do not explicitly accept all size/format PP packages today but could do so with the successful implementation of the proposed project, equipment or technology; those that will be able to sort small format items (3 inches or less) and estimate and track the cost/benefits; and those that can begin processing within 18 months of closing on financing.

The application available at www.closedlooppartners.com/apply should be submitted via email to bob@closedloopfund.com.

Re|focus is scheduled for late June in Florida

The Washington-based Plastics Industry Association says registration is open for its second annual Re|focus Sustainability & Recycling Summit, which will be in Orlando, Florida, June 27-29, 2017. The summit is organized in cooperation with the Sustainability Division of the Connecticut-based Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

The two organizations say the event has been “designed by the industry, for the industry [and] is unique in that it connects the entire supply chain, creating the opportunity for key companies and end users to discuss topics and challenges facing our industry, including expanded use of recycled plastics, design for recycling and driving sustainability in manufacturing.”

Re|focus features two tracks, one called “Sustainability in Technology & Engineering” and the other “Sustainability Opportunities in Manufacturing.”

“We are thrilled to offer two separate educational tracks this year and an exciting roster of speakers representing a range of end markets and companies, such as those who’ve signed on from Ford Motor Co., SABIC and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation,” says Kim Holmes, Plastics Industry Association vice president of sustainability.

Holmes says sustainability is a high priority for the trade association in 2017, “and the bigger, better Re|focus Summit, complete with a new logo, look and feel, is one of several efforts” the association is undertaking to place a greater emphasis on sustainability at every level in the supply chain. She says the partnership with SPE means the programming in 2017 “is even more tailored and robust, providing additional educational opportunities to hit a wider technical and engineering-focused audience.”

Bill Schreiber, conference chair of SPE’s Sustainability Division, says, “We are honored to join together with [the Plastics Industry Association] in this event, which will bring together stakeholders from throughout the value chain, from OEMs and brand owners, to discuss the challenges we face in the industry today.”

Moore Recycling Associates changes ownership, name

Moore Recycling Associates Inc., a plastics recycling consulting firm in Sonoma, California, has announced the transition of its ownership to Nina Bellucci Butler and Stacey Luddy, who now will carry the titles of CEO and chief operating officer/chief financial officer, respectively. Along with the change in management, the company has changed its name to More Recycling.

Rounding out the management staff of More Recycling is Chad Jodon, a former senior software architect at IBM, who has been named chief information officer.

“We are extremely proud of our company origins and the future feels exciting,” Butler says. “As the next generation of Moore Recycling, we will continue to prioritize integrity and thought-leadership while pushing innovations in technology and information analysis that facilitate the greater expansion of sustainable materials management.”

More Recycling says it retains the core staff of sustainability consultants and the information management system that Butler, Luddy and Jodon designed and developed over the years.

More Recycling will continue to provide clients with the research, consulting, tools and strategic long-term planning and program management services for the plastics packaging and recycling industries.

Patty Moore and Doug McDowell, co-founders of Moore Recycling Associates 28 years ago, will manage Sustainable Materials Management of California (SMM of CA), a company founded to manage recycling trade associations, including Plastic Recycling Corp. of California (PRCC).

“I am honored and thrilled to have Nina and Stacey continue the core mission of Moore Recycling—to take an active role in developing environmentally sound, sustainable global growth,” Moore says. “While I will continue to support More Recycling and SMM of CA, I will do so while working far less. It has been a fun and fruitful 30-plus years, and I am happily moving on to let the next generation step up.”

The company says it serves as a liaison among industry, public agencies and nongovernment organizations (NGOs), prioritizing accurate information and neutrality.