- America’s largest waste hauler is investing in a company that recycles plastic shrink wrap.
- Flexible plastics account for nearly a quarter of all plastic waste in the United States, but only 5% are recycled.
- Waste Management said the deal would help retailers use more recycled plastic.
Nearly all newly arrived furniture or the plastic shrink wrap around boxes shipped to Costco, Home Depot and other big box retailers ends up in landfills. The same goes for plastic grocery bags.
This flexible plastic accounts for nearly a quarter The U.S. produces 32 million tons of plastic waste every year, but only 5% are recycled. An acquisition by North America’s largest waste hauler this week suggests there may be a way to repurpose more waste.
waste management, working with local governments and commercial businesses to dispose of or recycle what we throw away, said on Tuesday that it would acquire Controlling stake in Avangard Innovation’s U.S. business. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal, which is expected to close this year.
“When only 5 percent of this material is recycled, that represents a huge opportunity for growth,” Jim Fish, president and CEO of Waste Management, told Insider. “It’s also an opportunity for us to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”
Avangard, a Houston-based business dealing with hard-to-recycle plastics for 30 years, has seen widespread interest in recent years as major food and beverage brands and chemical companies pledge to use more recycled plastics. In the coming years, states like California, New Jersey and Washington will require certain single-use plastic packaging to contain more recycled content.
Avangard is expanding its Houston operations, and Waste Management said it will build another plant in the Midwest. Within five years, the joint venture could recycle about 181,000 metric tons of plastic film, the companies said.
The materials are mainly sourced from supermarkets and big box stores, said Tara Highmore, chief sustainability officer at Waste Management. Currently, the company’s own recycling centers don’t accept flexible plastics, but it’s exploring ways to make that happen, Hemmer said. The deal with Avangar will operate under the name Natura PCR, part of the waste management company. Plans to spend up to $800 million by 2025 Automate its recycling plants and expand to underserved markets.
Currently, Waste Management is focusing on Avangar’s traditional mechanical recycling capabilities — sorting, cleaning and grinding — rather than emerging chemical recycling technologies, Hemmer said.February, Pioneer Announces partnership with Honeywell Build a chemical recycling plant by 2023.
The plastics industry is investing billions for expansion Chemical or “advanced” recycling, thought it can handle a wider variety of plastic waste.But environmentalists say it’s the wrong solution Citation Research It was found that most U.S. factories operating today are small and burn plastic for fuel rather than converting waste into new plastic products.
Chemical giant Dow is investing in both strategies, with more than 50 “circular projects and partnerships” underway, said Nestor de Mattos, vice president of North American commercial for Dow Packaging. processing. The company has been a customer of Avangard’s plastic pellets since 2020, driving Dow’s goal to help collect and recycle 1 million tons of plastic this decade — a fraction of Dow’s total plastic production .