The Recycling Partnership has announced nearly $2 million in grants designed to advance polypropylene (PP) recycling in the U.S. through its Polypropylene Recycling Coalition. The coalition is a cross-industry collaboration that launched earlier this year with founding committee members Keurig Dr Pepper, Braskem, the Walmart Foundation and other members of the PP value chain.
In its initial round of funding, the coalition is providing four grants to material recovery facilities (MRFs) across the United States that will improve and increase sorting of PP and support targeted consumer education efforts. PP, sometimes referred to as No. 5 plastic, is used in an array of food and nonfood packaging. According to the partnership, the coalition’s investments will widen total nationwide acceptance of PP in curbside recycling programs by approximately 1.7 percent, which equates to an additional 4 million people. This will result in the recovery of a larger supply of PP that could be made into new products such as consumer packaging and automotive parts.
“Through the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, we are rapidly driving meaningful, measurable change by awarding grants to four material recovery facilities that will improve and increase the capture of polypropylene. We encourage all companies that use polypropylene to join us and be part of the solution,” Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership, says. “In just a few months, we’ve gathered companies across the value chain, launched the coalition and awarded grants. This collaborative work will support jobs, preserve natural resources and help support the transition to a circular economy in the United States.”
Grants are awarded to candidates not currently recycling PP. With these investments, PP will now be accepted curbside in more communities and sent to established end markets. Community members in these areas will be educated as to what is and isn’t accepted in curbside recycling.
The four grantees include:
- Cougles Recycling in Hamburg, Pennsylvania;
- Mazza Recycling in Tinton Falls, New Jersey;
- Rumpke Recycling in Cincinnati; and
- Winters Bros. in Brookhaven, New York.
“As Ohio’s recycling leader, our family company processes more than 1 billion pounds of recyclables annually, and our customers have a desire to recycle even more,” Jeff Snyder, recycling senior manager for Rumpke, says. “The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition grant will aid us in our efforts to responsibly grow recycling within our service footprint while providing end-users with a clean stream of material for their products.”
After its original request for proposals, the coalition continues to accept grant applications to further its efforts to advance PP curbside recycling. The next round of grant proposals is due by March 31, 2021.
“It is important that we take steps to reduce plastics pollution, including revitalization of programs that make it easier for people to recycle in an environmentally sound manner,” Coalition Advisor and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner says. “This program, from The Recycling Partnership and the members of the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, will create a circular economy for polypropylene and will reduce the amount of this plastic in our environment.”