Circular Polymers offers used carpet end market

Circular Polymers offers used carpet end market

California company’s plant can handle some 15,000 tons of carpet or plastic scrap per year.

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Lincoln, California-based Circular Polymers says it is ready to supply the chemical recycling industry with consistent, high-quality feedstock made from postconsumer carpet and other forms of plastic scrap. Circular Polymers’ new facility in Lincoln, near Sacramento, can process some 15,000 tons of carpet per year, with the capability to expand further, says the company.

Circular Polymers is using carpet recycling technology developed by Elyria, Ohio-based Broadview Group International (BGI). Says BGI President Joe Bork, “Our technology disassembles the carpet [and] then cleans the fibers, thus maximizing yield while providing superior quality. The technology processes all carpet types: nylon 6, nylon 66, PET [polyethylene terephthalate] and polypropylene.”

Comments David Bender, CEO of Circular Polymers, “Chemical recycling is the solution to global demand for recycled feedstocks in a circular economy. Major brand companies working with chemical recyclers need clean, sustainable supplies of feedstock. We understand that chemical recycling operations require the conversion of waste into a raw material with strictly defined specifications. Circular Polymers is uniquely positioned to supply this growing industry.”

Adds Bender, “With more than 25 percent of all recycled bottles getting downcycled into carpet and fiber, Circular Polymers has created a figure eight in the circular economy, enabling upcycling of carpet into bottles.”

Circular Polymers and BGI completed the Lincoln plant expansion in December 2018. “Circular Polymers expects to grow significantly to support our customer requirements,” says Nick Fiore, president of Circular Polymers. “The chemical recycling industry is in its infancy. Four billion pounds (2 million tons) of carpet landfilled annually provides the feedstock for growth.”

Chicago-based PureCycle Technologies, described as an offtake partner of Circular Polymers, is commercializing a process designed to convert plastic scrap into virgin-quality resin. David Brenner, PureCycle’s chief integration officer, comments, “What we need to make the circular economy a reality is innovators at all levels of the supply chain. What Circular Polymers has done with processing post-consumer carpet back into raw materials for chemical recyclers is not only revolutionary, but an incredible model for us all, considering the large volumes of feedstock that are being landfilled today.”

“In addition to providing feedstock for chemical recycling, Circular Polymers’ fiber can also be further mechanically processed as a feedstock pellet for automotive, injection molding and other upcycled applications,” says Mark Babich, a relationship partner for Circular Polymers.

Circular Polymers received a grant from the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) in December 2018 to add new BGI equipment to remove and separate the polypropylene backing from carpet face fibers. Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE, says, “Circular Polymers is now the leading innovator of carpet recycling technology and our fastest growing recycler. I am very proud of what this talented team has been able to accomplish. They are proving a circular economy is achievable.”