RRS Begins Search for MRF Flexible Packaging Recycling Pilot 

March 21, 2017, Ann Arbor, Mich. – Sustainability and recycling consultancy RRS announced the next phase in the Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF) research program: identifying a  U.S. materials recovery facility (MRF) and the community(s) it serves for a curbside flexible packaging recycling pilot.

Today, flexible packaging is present in curbside collection, but MRFs typically spend extra money to remove the material and ship it to a landfill. Due to its consumer benefits and affordability, flexible packaging use is projected to grow. Identifying collection and recycling solutions is critical.

The MRFF research program is seeking a partner facility with a minimum throughput of 20 tons/hour that meets the essential criteria for the pilot. Interested communities or MRF managers that meet the criteria are invited to contact Susan Graff (sgraff@recycle.com), RRS principal and MRFF project director, before April 7, 2017.

The pilot selection process is targeted for second quarter 2017. RRS analysts are working with eligible MRFs to apply an economic feasibility model for adding flexibles to help select the pilot facility. The model produces a customized pro forma of the costs and benefits associated with adding flexible packaging to single stream recycling systems. Upon selection, MRFF sponsors will work with the pilot MRF from its specific pro forma output to steward co-financing of the necessary upgrades for flexible packaging recovery.

“MRFs were not originally designed to sort flexible plastic packaging and films,” said Graff.  “Our MRF tests last year indicated optical sorters can efficiently sort flexible packaging and improvements in disc screen technologies have reduced the problem of bags and films wrapping on shafts. The facility that enters this program will receive co-financing to help reduce their waste residues and develop new plastic product bales. This is the circular economy in action.”

The MRFF project sponsors are manufacturers, brands, retailers, and recyclers committed to working together to accelerate flexible plastic packaging recovery. Sponsors include Amcor, The Dow Chemical Company, LyondellBasell Industries, Nestlé Purina PetCare and Nestlé USA, PepsiCo, Plum Organics, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, Sealed Air, and Target as well as the Association of Plastics Recyclers, Flexible Packaging Association, The Plastics Industry Association, and the American Chemistry Council.  MRFF is an initiative of the Foundation for Chemistry Research and Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization established by the American Chemistry Council.

For more information about the pilot or to learn how your company can join MRFF, please contact Sarah Lindsay at sarah_lindsay@americanchemistry.com.



About RRS

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, RRS is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that strives to create a world where resources are managed to maximize economic and social benefit while minimizing environmental harm. The firm has cutting-edge industry professionals, engineers, economists, technical analysts, and communication specialists who share this vision and possess core strengths in materials and recovery, life cycle management, applied sustainable design, and collaborative action development. RRS serves both the public and private sectors to manage change in a resource-constrained world. www.recycle.com

Contact: Melissa Radiwon, 248.444.3456, mradiwon@recycle.com