US – US-based Novolex is investing US$10 million to expand its capacity to recycle plastic bags and other PE film at its recycling facility in North Vernon, Indiana.

The company, which manufactures packaging products for food and industrial purposes, says the addition of new equipment will also bring more than a dozen jobs to the facility.

Novolex says the investment in mechanical recycling equipment will enable the plant to produce up to 28 million pounds (12,700 tonnes) of recycled content per year to produce new products made with post-consumer or post-industrial recycled content.

Stan Bikulege, Novolex Chief Executive said: “Our added recycling capacity in Indiana reflects the Novolex commitment to support the circular economy.

“The technology will reduce waste and provide much-needed recycled content that we will be able to use in our products. The expansion will create jobs for the community and enable us to develop innovative packaging solutions for our customers  — a win for everyone.”

The expanded operations will begin to come online in the fourth quarter of this year and reach full capacity by the end of 2023 as new equipment is installed in phases.

When fully operational, the project is expected to provide 14 additional jobs for the community.

The equipment chosen for the expansion will be able to identify and sort a wide range of incoming materials such as plastic bags, pallet wrap, agricultural film and more, providing important flexibility in the range of potential incoming feedstocks.

At full capacity, the plant will utilize up to 40 million pounds (18,143t) of PE waste that will be diverted from landfills each year.

Matt Seaholm, President and Chief Executive of the Plastics Industry Association / (PLASTICS) commended the move, calling it great news for the circular economy.

“Not only will this investment create jobs for the community, but expanding recycling capacity, especially in flexible films, is very much needed; we applaud their commitment to future growth in recycling,” said Seaholm.

 “The plastics industry is investing billions of dollars into recycling technology and continues to find solutions to make it easier for consumers to recycle more material, keeping valuable plastics in the economy instead of in a landfill.”

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