Waste Management has acquired a controlling interest in Avangard Innovative’s United State business which will significantly grow recycling programs, especially for commercially used plastics and wraps.
As a result of the acquisition, Avangard Innovative will operate as an independent company called Natura PCR. The new business is expected to grow its recycling capacity within five years to an estimated 400 million pounds a year of post-consumer resin.
Houston-based Waste Management, which is the country’s largest trash and recycling hauling company, says the deal will help it deliver new recycling capabilities. It will also provide circular manufacturing platforms for films and clear plastic wraps, such as stretch wraps, furniture film, and grocery bags. The company says the recycling deal could potentially include shrink wrap for food and beverage containers.
Natura PCR will focus on the mechanical recycling of film and flexible plastics, which it says are some of the most complex to recycle. It will convert the material into post-consumer resin that can be used to produce new products without using virgin materials.
The company says these materials account for nearly a quarter of plastic generation, but only 5% is recycled.
The demand for post-consumer resin is expected to rise with more demand for recycled goods in general, but especially as companies search for ways to use hard-to-recycle materials and plastics again. The resins meet requirements and regulations for food, pharmaceutical, medical, electronics, and retail packaging, according to IPF.
Multiple industries are also looking to increase that kind of recycling. The National Lubricant Container Recycling Coalition is looking to increase post-consumer plastic recycling of petroleum-based products. Clariant, Siegwerk, Borealis, and Beiersdorf are working to create personal care packaging that can be recycled and reused more than once. A report by Smithers finds worldwide demand for post-consumer plastic packaging will reach 6.37 million metric tons by 2026.
Natura PCR plans to increase its recycling capabilities at Avangard’s plant in Waller, Texas, and build a new plant in the Midwestern US. According to Avangard, it currently has a recycling capacity of 100 million pounds per year.
The new company will be primarily owned and controlled by Waste Management. Avangard and affiliated entities will hold a collective minority equity position in Natura PCR.
The deal is expected to close by the end of 2022. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.