SPI and NAPCOR announce grant recipients for model PET thermoform recycling program

SPI and NAPCOR announce grant…
The Plastics Industry Trade Association (SPI) and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) announced on 18th March, 2012 that three United States recycling operators have been selected to receive grants toward establishing model programs for collection and intermediate processing of PET thermoformed packaging.

Thirteen proposals were received in response to the RFP, which focused exclusively on PET thermoformed packaging, including clamshells, cups, trays, boxes and lids, all made from PET sheet and labeled with the #1 resin code. After assessing the proposals, the grant evaluation team visited seven sites. "The quality and diversity of grant proposals was truly gratifying," said NAPCOR Technical Director Mike Schedler. "It confirmed to us that intermediate processors of recycled materials in the U.S. are not only eager to capture
and market PET thermoform material domestically, but have already begun to work through how to make it happen. We expect this program to result in successful, sustainable PET thermoform recycling models that will be replicable in other markets."

The three grant recipients are:

Primary Grantee

Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Environmental Protection – Located in central Maryland, adjacent to Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland owns, manages and operates comprehensive recycling programs and facilities, including its award-winning 57,000 square-foot publicly owned and operated Recycling Center, serving over 1.5 million county residents, employees, and visitors. Montgomery County’s programs encompass single-family and multi-family residential, commercial, government, and other away-from-home opportunities, including private and public school education, local and regional events and festivals. With a strong focus on community education and a multi-phased approach to collecting and marketing PET thermoforms, Montgomery County’s program is expected to provide a solid urban / suburban model program, offering both an immediate and a long-term impact on the recycling of PET thermoforms.

Secondary Grantees

Firstar Fiber, Inc. – Serving approximately 1 million residents in the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan regions, central and northeastern communities of Nebraska; and the Sioux City, Woodbury County, and western regions of Iowa, Firstar Fiber is a privately owned recycling operation with a diverse customer base and collection stream. Firstar has built a strong collaborative PET thermoform recycling program support team that includes the City of Omaha’s recycling office, local collegiate sports venues, and regional retail grocery representatives. Its PET thermoform collection efforts will be focused on residential and away-from home programs, including sporting event education and collection at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc. – A non-profit 501c(3) corporation, the RMC is a leader in developing and expanding recycling markets in Pennsylvania. Their program will serve the 165,000 residents of Elk and Lebanon Counties, and will focus on reverse supply chain dynamics, primarily end market development, intermediate processing for material quality beneficiation, and modeling of rural PET thermoform collection.

“We are extremely pleased by the selection of three such high-caliber operations to receive the grant funding. This program marks an important milestone toward keeping thermoform packaging out of landfills and making the recycling of them commonplace,” said SPI President and CEO Bill Carteaux. “The diversity of these three grant recipients enables us to provide models for public and private operations, as well as for both metropolitan and rural areas.”

The grant program, announced in July 2011, was open to any U.S. recycling program operator that provides or contracts for the full scope of program services, from consumer education to the marketing of material, and that can affect the implementation of a program across all areas. SPI and NAPCOR are working in partnership on this grant: SPI providing $100,000 in program funding, and NAPCOR providing project management and technical assistance. Placon Corporation (Madison, WI), Solo Cup Company (Lake Forest, IL), and Plastic Ingenuity, Inc. (Cross Plains, WI) are providing additional grant funding, helping enable the multiple grant awards. Grant program implementation will begin immediately.