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Consortium formed to expand recycling options for bioplastics

Primo Water Corp. (Winston Salem, NC; www.primowater.com), along with 19 other organizations, has launched a new group to address recycling opportunities with bioplastics—the Bioplastics Recycling Consortium. The Consortium’s mission is to develop an effective, efficient, and economical recovery system and end markets for postconsumer bioplastic materials.

), along with 19 other organizations, has launched a new group to address recycling opportunities with bioplastics—the Bioplastics Recycling Consortium. The Consortium’s mission is to develop an effective, efficient, and economical recovery system and end markets for postconsumer bioplastic materials. In doing so, the multi-industry Consortium will help ensure that bioplastics fulfill their promise of being a fully renewable and truly sustainable material for manufacturers, retailers, waste management, recycling companies and consumers interested in developing packaging materials that are better for our environment.

Participants in the Consortium’s first meeting represented the waste and recycling industry, brand owners, retailers, academic and research institutions, and NGOs, an intentional effort to bring together an eclectic group that will provide a 360° perspective on bioplastics in the waste stream.

“Packaging born of renewable material, then recycled and reused for new packaging, is the ultimate definition of sustainability. The Bioplastics Recycling Consortium has great potential because it’s the first dedicated effort to bring together multiple links in the value chain to talk specifically about bioplastics life cycle,” said Tim Ronan, VP of marketing for Primo To Go. Primo recently introduced the first nationally distributed single-serve bottled water whose bottle is made from plant-based Ingeo natural resin, not crude oil like other water bottles. “Now is the time to seize on the life cycle opportunities that non-oil-based bioplastics offer, and to develop an efficient recycling system that enhances the sustainability of these products that are truly friendlier on our environment.”

According to a study by the Freedonia Group, demand for bioplastics in the United States is expected to increase 20% per year through 2010. The study also projects that the greatest growth potential for bioplastics is in applications such as films, bottles, and food service products.

The participants in the first consortium meeting included the Assn. of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, Climate Neutral, NatureWorks LLC, Porter Novelli, Primo Water Corp., U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste, University of Florida Bill Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, and the Yale Office of Sustainability.

Press release from Primo Water Corp., Aug. 19, 2008

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