The US-based National Lubricant Container Recycling Coalition (NLCRC) has launched a collaborative recycling programme for lubricant containers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Claimed to be the industry’s first scheme of its kind, the pilot scheme primarily focuses on consumer plastic packaging for engine oil and other petroleum-based products.

The one-year project involves more than 40 locations in Atlanta, including auto care centres, instant oil change outlets, retail stores and several commercial facilities.

During the pilot, NLCRC intends to evaluate and measure the economic and market drivers for post-consumer recovery and recycling.

Through this, the group aims to understand consumer waste disposal behaviours and provide standards required for model development and future scalability.

Project partners for the programme include commercial entities, retail companies, environmental products and service provider Safety-Kleen, as well as advanced recycling firm Nexus Circular.

NLCRC director Tristan Steichen said: “One of the biggest waste management challenges facing the US is our ability to collect, sort, and process plastic packaging and return it to productive use.

“For contaminated packaging from petroleum and related materials, this isn’t really happening.

“The pilot focuses on the heart of the problem – collection – to find the most efficient ways to aggregate and transport the materials to processors that want them, creating value in a waste material that doesn’t exist today.”

Established last year, the NLCRC is a technical coalition formed by several leading companies in the petrochemical industry.

These include Castrol, Valvoline, PennzoilQuaker State, Graham Packaging, Plastipak Packaging, Berry Global, Chevron and the Petroleum Packaging Council.

The coalition seeks to develop a market-sustaining programme to increase the recovery and recycling of plastic packaging used to transport lubricants and other products for consumer and commercial use.

Its aim is to deliver ‘meaningful results to the industry, its customers and its member companies’ by reducing environmental and social risks while increasing sustainability.