US-based waste disposal company Republic Services has revealed plans to develop an integrated plastic recycling facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The facility is expected to open next year and is intended to help meet growing demand from consumer brands and packaging manufacturers for recycled plastic, working towards a circular plastic economy.
Republic Services claims that the polymer centre represents the first time a US-based firm will be able to manage the plastic stream through a fully integrated process, from kerbside collections of recycled material to the production and delivery of recycled content for consumer packaging.
Republic Services president and CEO Jon Vander Ark said: “Packaged goods manufacturers have set ambitious targets to use more post-consumer content in their products, but the current supply of recycled plastics falls short.
“The Republic Services Polymer Centre will help meet the increasing demand for a reliable, high-quality supply of recycled plastics, assisting brands in achieving their sustainability goals.
“As a leader in the environmental services industry and one of the nation’s largest recyclers, Republic is uniquely positioned to support the circular economy.”
Rigid plastics will be drawn from residential and commercial customers and sorted at local recycling facilities before being delivered to the polymer centre, which would process them.
Processing at the plant will include shredding, hot washing and sorting by colour.
Once operational, the facility is expected to produce more than 100 million pounds of recycled plastic products a year.
These products will include 100% post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flakes delivered to the food-grade marketplace to ensure bottle-to-bottle circularity.
The polymer centre will also process plastics gathered from Republic’s other recycling facilities.
Republic intends to open two to three more polymer centres in the US for greater plastic recycling coverage.
The polymer centre supports the company’s long-term sustainability goal to increase the recovery and circularity of ‘key materials’ by 40% by 2030.