The APR Recycling Demand Champions Campaign, created in 2017 by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Washington, to develop new markets for recycled plastics, has generated almost 7 million pounds of new demand in its first year.
The APR announced the program’s results at the association’s annual meeting Oct. 9-11 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The APR also announced several new participants that have committed to increase their use of postconsumer resin (PCR) in the upcoming year.
“The need for expanded demand for recycled plastics has reached a critical point, and the APR Recycling Demand Champions Campaign is all about new demand,” says Liz Bedard, director of the APR Rigid Plastic Recycling Program. “APR applauds and appreciates the efforts of the inaugural Demand Champion companies and encourages others to commit to this important campaign.”
The initial group of companies that increased their use of PCR in the past year are Berry Global, Champion Polymer Recycling, Clean Tech Inc., Coca-Cola North America, Envision Plastics, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Merlin Plastics, Plastipak, Procter & Gamble and Target. Collectively, the APR says, these companies increased their PCR purchasing by 6.8 million pounds. This is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 1,747 passenger vehicles driven for one year, 92 jobs in plastics recycling and all of the plastic recyclables from a city the size of Cambridge, Massachusetts, with its population of 113,333, the association adds.
The APR Recycling Demand Champions Campaign is designed to play a prominent role in expanding the market for recycled plastics, driving investment, increasing supply and producing more high quality PCR, the APR says. Champion companies commit to purchase new volume PCR in three possible ways:
- purchasing work in process (WIP) durable goods for use in manufacturing facilities;
- developing a new application for PCR; or
- increasing PCR usage in a current application.
Berry Global, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Procter & Gamble and Target have committed to the campaign for a second year. New Demand Champion companies PAC Worldwide and QRS Recycling join those that committed earlier this year: Avangard Innovative, Denton Plastics, Eco-Products, Nestle, Unilever and UPM Raflatac.
“We are pleased with the impact and growth of The APR Recycling Demand Champion Campaign,” says Steve Alexander, president and CEO of APR. “It has become a seminal program of APR, which we expect to continue for many years to come. We commend the companies that have committed to the program and look forward to their continued efforts to expand the market for recycled plastics and enhance the plastics recycling industry.”