Midwest Exchange to Expand Illinois PET Recycling Plant

Specialized plastics processing equipment to be supplied by AMUT S.p.A.

July 5, 2012
Recycling Today Staff

Midwest Exchange Enterprises Inc. (MWE), a minority owned plastic recycler based in Gurnee, Ill., has announced plans to expand its PET (polyethelene terephthalate) recycling plant to produce 100-percent-recycled PET (RPET).

The project involves securing an additional 40,000-square-foot industrial building and the purchase of specialized plastics processing equipment from AMUT S.p.A., based in Novara, Italy, to clean the PET stream.

“We believe this to be a great step in our sustainability program,” says Alex Casillas, president and founder of Midwest Exchange Enterprises. “It provides our clients with an environmentally friendly and cost-effective option to using virgin resin. Our goal is to eliminate our country’s dependency upon foreign virgin PET resin by producing locally and manufacturing recycled resin RPET from local sources of PET plastic.”

Midwest’s new RPET manufacturing facility is expected to allow the company to diversify by self-manufacturing resin for local production as well as selling food grade RPET resin to food and beverage packaging companies.

“Using 100 percent RPET for containers is highly innovative and is a market that we believe is expanding. When you evaluate what is happening here in North America, you see the demand for RPET increasing, especially in the thermoforming market,” Casillas says.

“After careful consideration, we felt that AMUT would be the ideal company to partner with in this project,” he adds. “The AMUT technology has been proven across North American in a wide variety of operations using different materials from landfill reclaimed bottles in Mexico, to the mixed stream of Ontario, Canada. Both of these operations produce the highest quality RPET for the bottle market with direct beverage contacts. The equipment cleans the materials extremely well and will meet and exceed our clients’ requirements.”
According to AMUT, the plant will produce almost 7,000 pounds of RPET per hour.

“We evaluated several manufacturers of this technology for cleaning the PET materials and AMUT was selected; its technology and innovation provide for a cost efficient recycling plant. The process allows us to minimize energy costs, the amount of chemicals in the process and utilizes only one pint of water to produce one pound of high quality clean RPET,” Casillas says.

This is the first recycling plant for AMUT equipment in the Midwestern U.S. Anthony Georges, president of AMUT states, “Being a person with family ties in the Chicago area, we are proud to have been selected to help resolve the environmental questions of plastic waste.”

MWE and AMUT say they expect the new line to be fully operational by March of 2013.