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Closed Loop Foundation Awards $300K to Plastic Film Recyclers

plastic bagsIn an effort to advance film plastic packaging recycling, the Closed Loop Foundation has awarded about $300,000 in grant money to two plastic recycling companies.

Zzyzx, pronounced “ziziks,” is a Pennsylvania-based company that makes recycled plastic pellets from hard-to-recycle plastics. The company says it will use the funding to purchase equipment, ultimately allowing it to process 7 million pounds of film per year per machine.

“This grant will help us purchase the equipment needed to scale up our technology for testing in a plastic processing facility, and will act as a stepping stone to large-scale recycling operations,” Zzyzx CEO Michael Janse said in a statement.

Drought Diet Products is a California-based company that plans to use post-consumer film plastic feedstock in its irrigation piping products. The company estimates that its technology and business could divert up to 1.4 billion pounds of plastic film from landfills annually.

The funding will be split similarly between the two companies, Closed Loop Fund spokesperson Bridget Croke told Plastics News.

The Closed Loop Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Closed Loop Fund, a recycling initiative whose founding members include Walmart and Coca-Cola. The Fund provides low-interest loans to companies and zero-interest loans to cities with the goal of  investing more than $500 million in US recycling projects by 2020.

The Foundation has partnered with SC Johnson, which is working to make its Ziploc bags more easily recyclable.

Croke told Plastics News that SC Johnson was involved in the grant project from the start but kept its name out of the news until now because “they didn’t want their name to influence the kind of projects that came through.”

In a statement announcing Zzyzx and Drought Diet Products as the two grant recipients, Kelly Semrau, an SC Johnson senior VP said: “These two companies help build value in recycled Ziploc bags and other film plastics.  We need to build strong end markets in order to see innovation in how this material is collected and recycled.”

SC Johnson is also involved with the American Chemistry Council’s  Wrap Action Recycling Program (WRAP), which has set a goal to double plastic film recycling — reaching about 2 billion pounds — by 2020. This partnership with states, municipalities, major brands, retailers and nonprofits works to increase awareness of opportunities to recycle plastic wraps at more than 18,000 participating stores across the US.

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