The Recycling Partnership has launched the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, an industry collaboration to improve polypropylene (PP) recovery and recycling in the United States and further develop the end market of high-quality recycled PP. The coalition is also taking its first action by opening a request for proposals (RFP) for Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to apply for financial grants to enable improved sortation of PP and widen acceptance through consumer education programs in communities.
As part of the Recycling Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity initiative, the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is supported by all segments of the material’s value chain, including founding members Keurig Dr Pepper, Braskem, and the Walmart Foundation. Additional inaugural members include the American Chemistry Council, Danone North America, EFS Plastics, KW Plastics, LyondellBasell, Procter & Gamble, St. Joseph Plastics, and Winpak. The coalition set an initial funding target of $35 million over five years and is seeking additional supporters.
The industry-wide collaboration will address key opportunities in recycling PP, or No. 5 plastic, which has properties that make it an invaluable material found in everyday consumer packaging such as yogurt cups, coffee pods, and butter tubs. According to the Recycling Partnership’s 2020 State of Curbside Recycling report, there may be as much as 1.6 billion pounds of PP available per year from single-family homes that could be recycled into new products ranging from automotive parts to personal care and food packaging.
The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition’s RFP will improve PP recycling in the United States by awarding grant dollars to be applied to purchasing PP sorting equipment and supporting consumer education programs in communities. By funding grants and research and consumer education programs, the coalition aims to facilitate curbside PP recycling and ensure that more recyclers can effectively sort the material in their facilities.
“Together, we can stimulate a system-wide shift to increase the capture of polypropylene and demand for recycled content. We encourage all companies that use polypropylene to be part of the solution,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of the Recycling Partnership. “The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition’s work to improve and increase recovery of polypropylene will support jobs, preserve natural resources, and help build a circular economy in the United States.”