FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Recycling Partnership today announced nearly $2 million in catalytic grants to advance polypropylene recycling in the U.S. through its Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, a cross-industry collaboration that launched just four months ago with founding steering committee members Keurig Dr Pepper, Braskem, and the Walmart Foundation and other members of the polypropylene value chain.
In its initial round of funding, The Recycling Partnership’s (The Partnership) Polypropylene Recycling Coalition (Coalition) is providing four grants to Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) across the United States that will improve and increase sortation of polypropylene and support targeted consumer education efforts. Polypropylene, sometimes referred to as No. 5 plastic, is used in an array of food and non-food packaging. The Coalition’s investments will widen total nationwide acceptance of polypropylene in curbside recycling programs by approximately 1.7% to an additional four million people, resulting in the recovery of a larger supply of polypropylene 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 Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) 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,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership. “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 polypropylene. With these strategic investments, polypropylene will now be accepted curbside in more communities, sent to established end markets, and 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, Ohio
- Winters Brothers 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,” said Jeff Snyder, Recycling Senior Manager, Rumpke Waste & Recycling. “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 a strong response to our original request for proposals, The Coalition continues to accept grant applications to further its efforts to advance polypropylene curbside recycling. The next round of grant proposals is due by March 31, 2021. This mission-driven work is supported by contributions from organizations representing all segments of the material’s value chain. Since its launch, The Coalition welcomed new members: Campbell Soup Company, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, Merlin Plastics, Milliken & Company, Nestlé, NextGen Consortium (Steering Committee member), and PolyQuest. Additional founding members include American Chemistry Council, Danone North America, EFS Plastics, KW Plastics, LyondellBasell, Procter & Gamble, St. Joseph Plastics, and Winpak. The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is advised by industry leaders including: Association of Plastic Recyclers, former EPA Administrator Carol Browner, Closed Loop Partners, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and World Wildlife Fund.
“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,” said Coalition Advisor and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner. “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.”
The Coalition is focused on increasing access for people to recycle polypropylene through curbside recycling programs, ensuring more recycling processing facilities can sort the material successfully, and stimulating a robust end-market of high-quality recycled polypropylene for reuse in packaging. The Coalition is part of The Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity, an initiative creating scalable solutions to packaging and system challenges and accelerating the shift to the circular economy that uses fewer finite resources.
To learn more about the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, its members, and how to get involved in supporting its goals, visit recyclingpartnership.org/polypropylene-coalition. For MRFs interested in applying for a grant, the application is available on our website.
About The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership is a national nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in states, cities, and communities nationwide. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging to local governments charged with recycling to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org