US – The National Lubricant Container Recycling Coalition (NLCRC) has launched an industry-first collaborative recycling pilot program in Atalanta, Georgia.

Established in 2021, NLCRC is an industry-led technical coalition focused on developing a national market-sustaining program that drives the recovery and recycling of plastic packaging used to transport lubricants and related products for commercial and consumer use.

The pilot scheme, the industry’s first of its kind, primarily focuses on consumer plastic packaging for engine oil and other petroleum-based products.

The recycling pilot is a one-year project involving over 40 locations in Atlanta, including retail stores and auto care centers, instant oil change locations, and several commercial facilities.

During the pilot, NLCRC intends to evaluate and measure the economic and market drivers for post-consumer recovery and recycling.

Through this, the group aims to understand consumer waste disposal behaviors and provide standards required for model development and future scalability.

Project partners for the program include commercial entities, retail companies, environmental products and service provider Safety-Kleen , as well as advanced recycling firm Nexus Circular.

NLCRC Director Tristan Steichen said: “One of the biggest waste management challenges facing the US is our ability to collect, sort, and process plastic packaging and return it to productive use.

“For contaminated packaging from petroleum and related materials, this isn’t really happening.

“The pilot focuses on the heart of the problem – collection – to find the most efficient ways to aggregate and transport the materials to processors that want them, creating value in a waste material that doesn’t exist today.”

NLCRC has been formed by several leading companies in the petrochemical industry in the US.

These include Castrol, Valvoline, Pennzoil – Quaker State, Graham Packaging, Plastipak Packaging, Berry Global, Chevron and the Petroleum Packaging Council.

Addressing a challenge as complex as recovering post-consumer plastic packaging for recycling is not feasible for most individual companies, particularly when products are distributed throughout multiple regions and markets.

Cost-effective solutions require collaboration with multiple stakeholders (including competitors), both upstream and downstream of the lubricant value chain.

The Coalition aims is deliver ‘meaningful results to the industry, its customers and its member companies by reducing environmental and social risks while increasing sustainability.

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