May 17, 2010
by Canadian Packaging Staff
Placon Corporation, a thermoformer and plastic sheet extruder headquartered in Madison, WI, has announced it will construct a closed-loop recycling facility to grind and wash post-consumer bottles and thermoforms for processing into its EcoStar sheet products.
The company is reducing the total carbon footprint by bringing the material supply chain closer to production and offering its customers more choices of materials, including up to 100 per cent post-consumer content polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
“Our EcoStar sheet now requires less total energy to produce and will further help our customers meet their sustainability goals… Our factory design will streamline operations while delivering the recycled sheet products the market requires,” says company chief executive officer Dan Mohs noting that recycling one pound of PET instead of using virgin material saves approximately 12,000 BTUs of energy.
Placon is the first thermoforming company in the consumer packaging industry to implement its own in-house recycling. With the new facility, the company will receive curbside collected bottles to clean, grind and extrude into sheet. Reducing the number of bottles going to landfills while providing high-quality material for customers has long been a goal for the company. Placon has been using recycled content in its packaging for more than 15 years, and over the last seven years it has diverted more than one billion discarded bottles from landfills.
In addition to EcoStar post-consumer RPET, the facility will produce LNO (letter of non-object) flake allowing food contact with recycled material.
The recycling facility will be located in Fitchburg, WI and will be completed in two phases. In phase one, Placon will be adding an additional extruder for its EcoStar rollstock. This will be completed in the third quarter of 2010. Phase two will be the addition of the bottle washing equipment, which is scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2011 with plans for additional extruders to follow.