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Additional MRF Modernization Grants Signal System Progress for Polypropylene

With a new round of infrastructure grants underway, the work of The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition highlights an increasing number of recycling facilities investing in sorting and processing polypropylene, demonstrating the expanding commitment to this valuable material. 

The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition (Coalition), a cross-industry effort, remains focused on supporting recycling system enhancements to not only make it easier for people to recycle polypropylene curbside, but to ensure the material is being recovered, and end markets continue to develop. In particular, the Coalition is leading solutions by making grants to modernize recycling facilities with equipment to process polypropylene.  

A critical piece of the value chain, a materials recovery facility (MRF) sorts and processes recyclables once they are transported from the curb or drop-off center. To unlock the potential of recycling and deliver its economic and environmental benefits, The Recycling Partnership’s Paying it Forward report estimates the U.S. needs to invest $3 billion to upgrade and expand MRF infrastructure. With the Coalition’s most recent grants, six additional MRFs will implement technology improvements. These projects will bring the Coalition’s projected impact on PP recycling access to more than 10%, reaching 27 million people nationwide, and leading to the potential for 36 million new pounds of PP to be recovered annually.

New grantees include: 

  • Casella, Stanley, NY  
  • Casella, Rutland, VT  
  • Lakeshore Recycling Systems, Chicago, IL  
  • Midwest Fiber Recycling, Normal, IL 
  • Outagamie County, Appleton, WI 
  • Pioneer, Tacoma, WA 

In conjunction with sorting equipment improvements, there is continued opportunity for increased community education so people know what they can put in their recycling bins. And, with increased community access and education as well as the ability for facilities to sort PP, we can continue to take measurable steps to improve PP recycling and recovery. 

The mission-driven work of the Coalition is supported by contributions from organizations representing all segments of the material’s value chain. Members include Keurig Dr Pepper, Braskem, The NextGen Consortium, the Walmart Foundation, Advanced Drainage Systems, AMP Robotics, Berry Global, Campbell Soup Company, EFS-plastics, Ferrero, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, KW Plastics, LyondellBasell, Merlin Plastics, Milliken & Company, Nestlé, Plastic Ingenuity, PolyQuest, Procter & Gamble, PureCycle, Sabert, St. Joseph Plastics, Total Energies, and Winpak. The Coalition is advised by industry leaders, including Association of Plastic Recyclers, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, World Wildlife Fund, and Closed Loop Partners.   

The Recycling Partnership is committed to convening all stakeholders to create a stronger, more resilient national recycling system that performs to the scale and scope that is needed to solve for people and planet. A sustainable circular economy requires reducing what’s made in the first place, reusing more, and recycling all we can. The Partnership knows what it will take to transform this system and make dramatic improvements to recycling.   

To learn more about The Recycling Partnership and the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition and to get involved, visit recyclingpartnership.org/polypropylene-coalition.