Chinese firm to open plastics recycling operation in Alabama

Chinese firm to open plastics recycling operation in Alabama

Company to open U.S. plant because of crackdown on plastic scrap shipments into China.

February 20, 2018

Shanghai-based Roy Tech Environ Inc. has announced plans to open a plastics recycling facility in Grant, Alabama. The decision to site the plant there was made after the company decided in September 2017 that it needed to build production capacity in the United States to guarantee its factories in China would have an ample amount of recycled plastic.

Matt Arnold, president of the Marshall County Economic Development Council, says Roy Tech Environ has moved quickly to find a location and has secured a building. Arnold says the company will install equipment to allow the facility to grind and shred primarily postindustrial plastic scrap.

Lily Zhang, CEO of Roy Tech Environ, says in phase one the company will install grinders and shredders for five production lines. In phase two it will install pelletizing equipment. The main grades the company will handle include high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) and polycarbonate (PC) that will come primarily from the company’s existing customers.

Arnold says the facility will have several stages of development and should be operational by the summer of 2018. Roy Tech has set a goal of processing around 20,000 metric tons by the end of its first year of operation in Alabama.

Roy Tech established an existing branch office in Huntsville, Alabama, about 30 miles away from Grant, more than three years ago to be close to major auto production facilities.

The company is expected to ship its processed recycled plastic to its customers in Asia, including its own Shanghai operations.

Roy Tech Environ was formed around 20 years ago in Shanghai by CEO Lily Zhang and her brother. In a written statement, Zhang says three years ago, she realized the company should start sourcing plastic scrap directly from the United States because of the high quality of the material and ample quantity of the material available. The company has been shipping plastic scrap directly to its production plant in Shanghai.

The move to open a plastics recycling facility comes on the heels of China cracking down on baled plastic scrap being imported into the country. With quality specifications tightening, making it extremely difficult to ship unprocessed plastic scrap into China, the company decided to open a processing plant in the United States to guarantee its operations in Asia had enough material to meet their needs.