Packaging producer Direct Pack has recovered around 7 300 tonnes of recycled PET plastic in partnership with the municipality of Phoenix in Arizona and material recovery operators in the area over the last two years.
‘We don’t want recycling to be a mystery,’ says Phoenix public works director Joe Giudice. He estimates the over 400 000 households in the wider Phoenix area, including Prescott, Peoria and Avondale, produce one million tonnes of waste each year (with 2 000 tonnes generated during the upcoming Super Bowl). ‘A transparent process can help people feel more fulfilled as they put items in their blue bins,’ Giudice says.
The partnership between Phoenix, its material recycling facilities and residents is a ‘remarkable success story’ for PET packaging recycling, according to Craig Snedden, president of Direct Pack. ‘Our goal is to keep as much recycled PET material out of landfill as possible by reclaiming it from material recycling facilities and turning it into brand-new, certified food-grade packaging. We need more communities around the country to follow lead.’
Meanwhile, Direct Pack Recycling was recently one of three recipients of a US$ 750 000 (EUR 700 000) grant from The Recycling Partnership’s PET Recycling Coalition. The funds will go towards the construction of a second PET recycling facility in Mexicali, Mexico. The site will source material from the US and produce an additional 15 000 tonnes of recycled content for new packaging.