The Closed Loop Foundation has awarded innovation grants to two companies that it says have developed methods to solve the challenges of film plastics recycling.
The recipients of the awards are Zzyzx, a Pennsylvania-based company that makes recycled plastic pellets from varying plastic waste streams, and Drought Diet Products, a California-based company that will use postconsumer film plastic feedstock for its irrigation piping products.
According to the CL Foundation, both companies are examples of ways to drive end market value for postconsumer recycled film plastics. Zzyzx is expected to able to process 7 million pounds of film per year per machine. Drought Diet Products estimates that its technology and business could divert as much as 1.4 billion pounds of plastic film from landfills annually.
“We are invested in building the future of recycling and making sure that all of our products are recyclable,” says Kelly Semrau, senior vice president, global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability at SC Johnson. “These two companies help build value in recycled Ziploc bags and other film plastics. We need to build strong end markets in order to see innovation in how this material is collected and recycled.”
According to the Michael Janse, CEO at Zzyzx, “This grant will help us purchase the equipment needed to scale up our technology for testing in a plastic processing facility, and will act as a stepping stone to large-scale recycling operations.”
Drought Diet Products says it will use the grant money to integrate postconsumer LDPE (low-density polyethylene) feedstock, which will conserve more than 50 percent of the water and reduce the total energy consumption by 60 percent over traditional methods.
Zzyzx manufactures recycled plastic pellets from plastic films and mixed plastics. The company sells the plastic pellets to customers that mold them into products, using injection molding or other standard molding processes.
The types of plastics consumed by Zzyzx include hard-to-recycle materials, such as plastics that are mixed, laminated, degraded or that contain residues of food or materials that harm plastic strength.