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Indian tribe invests in plastics recycling

United States – ‘It was kind of meant to be,’ says Koran Andrews, CEO of the Stillaguamish Tribal Enterprise Corporation which has invested US$ 5 million in Washington-based MicroGREEN Polymers following a tour of the plant.

What was intended as a quick visit to purchase some recyclable cups for the tribe’s Angel of the Winds Casino ended up with an agreement to collaborate in the plastics recycling venture. ‘They fall in line with what we value in regards to doing what we can for this planet while we’re here,’ explains Mr Andrews. ‘And that’s really important to Indian tribes – protecting Mother Earth.’

The Stillaguamish tribe’s investment in the company reflects part of a larger effort by MicroGREEN to expand its production of recyclable plastic products, according to Chris Jacobs, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development. Its recyclable InCycle cups and trays comprise 50% PET derived from recycled water bottles while the other 50% is virgin PET.

The process used to produce the cups involves pressurising PET with carbon dioxide and warming it sufficiently for the plastic to expand, allowing manufacturers to reduce the amount of source material without using potentially harmful foaming agents. Dubbing it an ‘inexpensive process’, Mr Jacobs adds that the finished InCycle cup weighs 50-80% less than the average plastic cup.

Both he and Mr Andrews are currently trying to encourage other Native American tribes to invest in the company. Mr Jacobs notes: ‘We have made a number of presentations – there’s been a lot of interest.’ In addition, the tribe has promised to provide InCycle cups at the convenience store it is opening in Arlington.

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Source: Waste Recycling News

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