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Six communities receive grants to improve polypropylene curbside recycling

The Recycling Partnership has distributed $1.8 million in grants to these communities to improve recycling.

August 24, 2021

The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, has announced the third round of grant funding through its Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, distributing $1.8 million to help six grant recipients advance curbside polypropylene (PP) recycling. The coalition, which launched one year ago, has awarded grants totaling $4.2 million to date. 

According to a news release from The Recycling Partnership, the coalition has helped fund 13 facilities’ recycling efforts, which will positively impact nearly 15 million Americans. The organization estimates that curbside acceptance of PP will increase by 6 percent once these 13 facilities install equipment by early 2022. This will result in more PP being sent to established end markets and encouraging the shift to a circular economy.

The six newest grant recipients include: 

  • Green Waste, San Jose, California;
  • Murphy Road, Berlin, Connecticut;
  • Palm Beach County, Florida;
  • Pellitteri, Madison, Wisconsin;
  • Sonoco-Raleigh, Raleigh, North Carolina; and,
  • Sonoco-Onslow, Jacksonville, North Carolina.

PP is used in various food and nonfood packaging and is in strong demand as a recycled material. The grant funding will be used to target consumer education efforts to increase recycling.

To date, the coalition has awarded grants across the U.S. to increase the recovery of polypropylene by an estimated 13 million pounds annually to be made into new products. This includes consumer packaging and automotive parts.  

“In just one year, the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition has led the way to rapidly drive significant, measurable change to improve and increase the capture of polypropylene in U.S. curbside recycling,” says Sarah Dearman, vice president of Circular Ventures at The Recycling Partnership. “The Recycling Partnership is proud to lead the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition and its meaningful work that is inspiring industry investment, supporting jobs, preserving natural resources and activating the transition to a circular economy in the United States.” 

The coalition awards grants to material recovery facility (MRF) candidates that face challenges in their ability to effectively sort and recycle polypropylene. According to the coalition, just under 60 percent of Americans have access to recycle PP.

The geographic reach of the first three rounds of coalition MRF grantees includes the Northeast, Southeast, Upper Midwest, South Central and West Coast regions, including California. The coalition received a strong response to each of the three prior requests for proposals and continues to accept grant applications to further its efforts to advance polypropylene curbside recycling. The next grant proposal request is due Sept. 30.  

The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is a cross-industry effort supported by steering committee members Keurig Dr Pepper, Braskem, NextGen Consortium and the Walmart Foundation, along with other members of the polypropylene value chain.

The coalition is part of The Recycling Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity, an initiative to create scalable solutions to packaging and system challenges.

For sessions on plastics recycling efforts, attend the Paper and Plastics Recycling Conference in Chicago this fall.