Environmental Protection

Consortium to Expand Recycling Options for Bioplastics

Primo Water Corporation, along with 19 other organizations, has launched a new group to address recycling opportunities with bioplastics -- the Bioplastics Recycling Consortium, according to an Aug. 19 press release.

The consortium's mission is to develop an effective, efficient, and economical recovery system and end markets for post-consumer bioplastic materials. In doing so, the multi-industry consortium will help ensure that bioplastics fulfill their promise of being a fully renewable and truly sustainable material for manufacturers, retailers, waste management, and recycling companies, and consumers interested in developing packaging materials that are better for our environment.

Participants in the consortium's first meeting represented the waste and recycling industry, brand owners, retailers, academic and research institutions, and non-government organizations, an intentional effort to bring together an eclectic group that will provide a 360-degree perspective on bioplastics in the waste stream.

"Packaging born of renewable material, then recycled and reused for new packaging is the ultimate definition of sustainability. The Bioplastics Recycling Consortium has great potential because it's the first dedicated effort to bring together multiple links in the value chain to talk specifically about bioplastics life cycle," said Tim Ronan, vice president of marketing for Primo To Go. Primo recently introduced the first nationally distributed single-serve bottled water whose bottle is made from plant-based Ingeo™ natural resin.

According to a study by the Freedonia Group, demand for bioplastics in the United States is expected to increase 20 percent per year through 2010. The study also projects that the greatest growth potential for bioplastics is in applications such as films, bottles, and food service products.

The participants in the first consortium meeting included the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, Climate Neutral, NatureWorks LLC, Porter Novelli, Primo Water Corp., U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste, University of Florida Bill Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, and the Yale Office of Sustainability. The Bioplastics Recycling Consortium is currently scheduling its next meeting to take place during fall 2008.

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