With the expansion of its postconsumer resin (PCR) production facilities, the announcement of new environmental agreements and the appointment of its Natura PCR president, Avangard Innovative (AI), headquartered in Houston, is doubling down in its efforts to grow over the next decade and establish itself as a leader in the circular economy.
Last year, AI finalized the purchase of a 200-acre property in Waller, Texas, which includes a facility with existing infrastructure to streamline the expansion of additional capacity to produce low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) PCR. Once installed, the new total capacity will exceed 100 million pounds of PCR annually. The installation is underway, according to an AI news release, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2020. Additional expansion plans already include new plants in Mexico and Nevada. With the expansions, the company says it is on track to become the largest polyethylene (PE) film PCR producer in the Americas.
The expansion of capacity is in response to the high demand for Natura PCR products, the company says, as new environmental partnerships continue to materialize for Natura PCR, a subsidiary of AI, and AI. In an exclusive agreement, AI will supply postconsumer resin plastic film pellets to Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Michigan, which AI says is a “significant addition to Dow’s plastic circularity portfolio that is aligned with the company’s goal to advance the circular economy for plastics and minimize waste in the environment.”
Similarly, a supply agreement between Natura PCR and Hi-Cone Corp., a multipackaging systems supplier based in Itasca, Illinois, will provide PCR pellets for Hi-Cone’s new ring carriers made from 50 percent postconsumer recycled material. The new six-pack rings are called RingCycles and will be available in stores later in 2020.
“The collaboration between Avangard Innovative and our environmental partners goes much farther than supplying PCR materials,” says Rick Perez, Avangard Innovative CEO. “Our strategic partnerships are spearheading the standard in circular economy processes, where we complement each other’s strengths to turn waste streams into valuable, high-quality, recyclable materials.”
The new partnerships position Natura PCR as the leading supplier of PCR materials in the United States, the company says.
In order to manage the growth of demand for Natura PCR products, AI has promoted Jon Stephens as president of Natura PCR. The company says Stephens brings more than 22 years of experience in recycling and waste management operations and has been one of the main strategists behind Natura PCR’s “explosive growth.”“I’m fully committed to drive the expansion of our PCR production capacity and providing the industry’s highest technically performing PE film PCR,” Stephens says. “The partnerships we have established from key stakeholders are building blocks to advance plastics film recovery with the increased PCR demand.”