PRESS RELEASE FROM THE RECYCLING PARTNERSHIP

The Recycling Partnership Announces Three Grants to Improve Polypropylene Curbside Recycling for Millions of Americans

Posted Mar 31, 2021

Polypropylene Recycling Coalition brings total awards to nearly $3 million in grants, impacting 7.2 million people nationally.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (March 31, 2021) – The Recycling Partnership today announced a second round of grant funding through its Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, distributing nearly $1 million in catalytic grants to advance polypropylene recycling in the U.S. Launched in July 2020, the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition (Coalition) is a cross-industry collaboration supported by steering committee members Keurig Dr Pepper, Braskem, NextGen Consortium, and the Walmart Foundation, along with other members of the polypropylene value chain. Polypropylene, sometimes referred to as No. 5 plastic, is used in an array of food and non-food packaging and is in strong demand as a recycled material.

Through its second round of grant funding, the Coalition will provide an additional three grants to Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) across the United States to boost sortation of polypropylene and support targeted consumer education efforts. To date, the Coalition has awarded grants for seven MRFs across the U.S. These investments aim to improve curbside polypropylene recycling access for an additional 3% of all U.S. households, impacting a total of 7.2 million people nationally. This aims to increase the recovery of polypropylene by an estimated 4,300 tons annually to be made into new products, such as consumer packaging and automotive parts, rather than being sent to landfills or incineration.  

“The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is leading the effort to rapidly drive meaningful, measurable change that will improve and increase the capture of polypropylene in U.S. curbside recycling. We continue to encourage all companies that use polypropylene to join us in being part of the solution to ensure greater and better capture of this recyclable material,” said Sarah Dearman, Vice President of Circular Ventures, The Recycling Partnership. “This fast, meaningful, and collaborative work will support jobs, preserve natural resources, and help support the transition to a circular economy in the United States.”

The Coalition awards grants to MRF candidates that face significant challenges in their ability to effectively sort and recycle polypropylene. With these strategic investments, polypropylene will now be accepted curbside in more communities and sent to established end markets, encouraging the shift to a circular economy. Further supporting the shift, community members in these areas will also be educated as to what is and isn’t accepted in their curbside recycling.

The three newest grantees include:

- American Recycling in Candler, North Carolina

- DEM-CON in Shakopee, Minnesota

Independent Texas Recyclers in Houston, Texas

The combined geographic reach of the first two rounds of grantees includes MRFs across the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western regions of the U.S. The widespread interest and commitment from MRFs across the U.S. to growing the collection and sortation of recyclable polypropylene clearly demonstrates the market strength for this material nationwide.

The Coalition received a strong response to both the first and second rounds of requests for proposals and continues to accept grant applications to further its efforts to advance polypropylene curbside recycling. The next grant proposal request is due June 30, 2021. MRFs interested in sorting and recycling polypropylene are encouraged to apply.

The mission-driven work of the Coalition is supported by contributions from organizations representing all segments of the material’s value chain, including the Coalition’s newest member, Sabert Corporation. In addition to the aforementioned steering committee members, other members of the Coalition include American Chemistry Council, Campbell Soup Company, Danone North America, EFS-plastics, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, KW Plastics, LyondellBasell, Merlin Plastics, Milliken & Company, Nestlé, PolyQuest, 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.

The Coalition is part of The Recycling Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity, an initiative creating scalable solutions to packaging and system challenges to accelerate the shift to a 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 the action agent transforming the U.S. residential recycling system for good. Our team operates at every level of the recycling value chain and works on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs and tackle circular economy challenges. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain, from working with companies to make their packaging more circular and help them meet climate and sustainability goals, to working with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of the U.S. recycling system, 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 

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