- The Closed Loop Foundation, in partnership with S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., has awarded about $300,000 in grant money split between two companies to enhance plastic film recycling, as reported by Plastics News.
- Pennsylvania company Zzyzx Polymers, which makes pellets from challenging plastic types, will use the money to purchase new equipment needed for technology testing.
- California-based Drought Diet Products, a manufacturer of irrigation piping, will use the funds to test out integrating post-consumer low density polyethylene into some of its products.
The nonprofit foundation is dedicated to providing money for projects that may be too small or new for the Closed Loop Fund, which plans to provide $100 million to boost recycling across the country. As shown by the involvement of S.C. Johnson, maker of the Ziploc brand, plastic film recycling is an ongoing focus for manufacturers.
While drop-off programs for the material are available throughout the country, participation rates and processing options vary widely by region. Industry-supported initiatives such as the Wrap Action Recycling Program have begun forming public-private partnerships with states to help change this, though researchers have been working on biodegradable film alternatives as well.
In order to counter pushback from some environmental advocates, the industry will need to continue expanding the access and efficiency of these programs. As seen in the parallel plastic bag debate, plastic industry groups are far from ready to concede yet. Finance reports from California, where two statewide referendums related to banning plastic bags will be on the ballot this fall, show that industry groups are spending millions to support their position.