How to Make Money in Plastics Recycling

plastic film

by | Apr 14, 2016

plastic filmThese are tough times for plastics recyclers, with plummeting commodity prices hitting recyclers’ bottom lines, forcing some to close up shop.

But according to Dave Heglas, senior director of material resources at Trex Co., a composite wood deck maker, there’s money to be made in plastic film recycling.

As Plastics News reports, Heglas told the plastics summit at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. conference in Las Vegas that post-commercial stretch film is a good entry point into the plastics recycling market for other recyclers, such paper and metal.

“If you look at all of the various films out there, the one that’s still in high demand. There’s a lot of supply out there. It’s one of the easiest. There’s relatively little contamination, and it’s relatively a homopolymer. So linear low density (polyethylene) stretch film would be a good commercial stream for a new recycler,” he said.

As an added benefit: lower market prices for the material translates to lower business risk, Heglas said.

There’s also money available for recycling companies in the form below-market loans from The Closed Loop Fund, which has millions of dollars to invest in recycling companies and infrastructure projects that can be replicated.

The fund has amassed millions of dollars from leading companies — including 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Keurig Green Mountain, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation — and is currently accepting proposals for loans to cities and companies.

Photo Credit: plastic film via Shutterstock

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