The Encore recycling facility produces reusable 'smarterbags' from recycled agricultural plastics.
The facility incorporates a European closed-loop recycling system.
The facility recycles agricultural plastic waste such as irrigation drip tapes, almond film plastics and HDPE plastic grape covers. Image courtesy of David Trainer.
More than 100 million pounds of agricultural plastic is currently being disposed of in California landfills. Image courtesy of Simon Blackley.

Encore, the recycling unit of Command Packaging, constructed a new agricultural plastic waste recycling facility in Salinas Valley, California, US. The facility was opened in early 2014.

The co-operative initially invested approximately $8m in the facility. It further invested $40m to expand the facility.

The Salinas facility created 40 manufacturing jobs at the time of opening. The facility created roughly 100 and 200 additional jobs by 2014 and 2015, respectively.

The facility has an annual recycling capacity of 100 million pounds (45,000t) of agricultural plastic waste.

Details of the Encore Recycling Facility at Salinas

The new recycling facility at Salinas covers an area of 200,000ft² (18,580m²). It recycles agricultural plastic waste, such as irrigation drip tape, almond film plastic, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic grape covers and greenhouse film plastic.

The recycled materials are used to manufacture reusable grocery shopping bags, branded as ‘smarterbags’. The bags are 2.25mm-thick and can handle up to 22lb in weight.

The facility started manufacturing the reusable bags in 2014.

Processing and technology at the Californian recycling plant

“The co-operative initially invested about $8m in the facility. It further invested $40m to expand the facility.”

The facility is equipped with high-tech machinery and equipment to process plastic waste material. The agricultural plastic waste is properly sorted, shredded, washed and pelletised by using advance technology methods.

The pellets are sent to Command Packaging’s manufacturing plant at Los Angeles, US. The plant manufactures the Smarterbags from the pellets.

The facility implements a European closed-loop recycling system, which recycles the agricultural plastic waste into reusable plastic bags. Once disposed of, the bags are recycled again to create new plastic materials.

Contractors involved with Command Packaging’s facility

Encore selected the Yolo County Landfill to collect agricultural irrigation tubes and plastic films for plastic recycling.

The Yolo County Department of Planning & Public Works Integrated Waste Management Division partnered with Encore Farming Solutions to provide an environmental and economically sustainable way of recycling the plastic at the plant.

Marketing commentary for Encore Recycling, Command Packaging

US-based Command Packaging is a manufacturer of reusable shopping and restaurant bags.

“Encore is a unit of Command Packaging, providing plastic manufacturing services for the last 24 years.”

Encore is a unit of Command Packaging, providing plastic manufacturing services for the last 24 years. It employs about 300 people. The co-operative also operates a 200,000ft² recycling and manufacturing facility in Vernon, California.

The Encore™ post-consumer recycled plastic bags are eco-friendly and biodegradable. The bags can be recycled, are non-toxic and easy to afford.

More than 100 million pounds of agricultural plastic is currently being disposed of in Californian landfills. Encore Recycling partners with a number of companies, such as Dole, Driscoll, Pacific Gold Farms, Ramco, Red Blossom Strawberries and independent California growers to collect, clean, wash and recycle the agricultural plastic waste.

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