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First Film Packaging Capture Grant Awarded by Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition

Grant Unlocks New Material, Enables Solutions Testing, and Improves MRF Processing 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19, 2022) The Recycling Partnership’s Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition (Coalition) announced its first film packaging capture grant to EFS-plastics, a North America-based recycling company that specializes in plastic film recycling.  The $200,000 grant will pay for new equipment for its Hazleton, Pa. facility, increasing film recycling capacity by an additional 560,000 pounds per month – equivalent to more than 50 million plastic bags – and laying the groundwork to scale residential film and flexible plastics recycling.   

According to The Partnership’s Paying It Forward Report, significant investment is needed for film and flexible packaging to become widely accepted in residential collection and processing – just 1% of U.S. households have the ability to recycle in their bin or cart today. With nearly 95 pounds of these materials found in each U.S. home per year, from grocery and storage bags to pouches and wrappers, system improvements to increase residential film and flexibles recycling are crucial to addressing the plastic waste crisis and saving more than 4 million tons from landfills each year. Film packaging also offers a reduced carbon footprint compared to heavier packaging. 

The Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition, part of The Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity Initiative, is a broad group of industry stakeholders seeking to increase curbside collection of film recycling and support end markets for film and flexible products. The Coalition’s primary focus in 2022-2023 is proving efficient and effective collection through pilot projects as well as infrastructure and optimization grants, complementing The Partnership’s robust grant programs for communities and Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs).  In addition to new equipment at the EFS-Hazelton operation, a portion of this grant will fund testing at the EFS-Listowel facility to reprocess material into pellets for creating new products and packaging. 

“We are thrilled to announce this grant to EFS-plastics, an important testing ground and milestone in the Coalition’s mission to increase collection of film and flexible packaging,” says Sarah Dearman, VP of Circular Ventures at The Recycling Partnership.  “The Partnership believes that a successful system of the future will address recyclability challenges for all materials, and with so much of this valuable material found in every U.S. household, investments to support scaling film and flexible plastic recycling are important and necessary.” 

“Recycling more film will have benefits for the recycling system as a whole,” said EFS-plastics Director of Business Development and Procurement Eadaoin Quinn. “Film is a contaminant for many recyclers, but if we can turn more of it into new products, we can reduce the burden on MRFs caused by film while also putting more plastics back into new products rather than into a landfill or incinerator.” 

The mission-driven work of the Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition is supported by contributions from organizations representing all segments of the material’s value chain, including steering committee members American Chemistry Council, Dow, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, The Kraft Heinz Company, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and the Walmart Foundation.  Other Coalition members include Amcor, AMP Robotics, Berry Global, Campbell Soup Company, Flexible Packaging Association, Happy Family Organics, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., Kellogg Company, Keurig Dr Pepper, Mars, Incorporated, Mondelez International, Nature Valley and Nestlé. The Coalition is advised by industry leaders Association of Plastic Recyclers and Sustainable Packaging Coalition.  

To learn more about the Film and Flexibles Recycling Coalition’s efforts to bring film recycling curbside, visit https://recyclingpartnership.org/film-and-flexibles/. For those interested in learning more about applying for a grant for a MRF or reclaimer related to film plastics, contact Trina Matta at tmatta@recyclingpartnership.org 

About EFS-plastics 

Founded in 2007, Environmentally Friendly Solutions, better known as EFS-plastics Inc. has more than 25 years of experience in post-consumer plastic recycling between Germany and Canada. Located in Listowel, Ontario, in a 75,000 square foot facility on 10.6 acres of land, and a 90,000 square foot facility in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, we divert 60,000,000 pounds per year from landfills. Learn more at https://www.efs-plastics.ca 

About The Recycling Partnership 

At The Recycling Partnership, we are solving for circularity. We mobilize people, data, and solutions across the value chain to unlock the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and a circular economy. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve packaging circularity, increase access to recycled materials, and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We foster public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. Since 2014, we have diverted 770 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 968 million gallons of water, avoided more than 670,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and driven significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org.