PolyQuest, Inc. (PQ) today announced the company will further invest in its PET recycling operation in Darlington, South Carolina to meet growing demand for post-consumer recycled content.
Since 2006, the Wilmington, North Carolina based company has produced high quality recycled PET resins at the Darlington facility. Using either post-industrial or post-consumer recycled PET feedstocks, PolyQuest can manufacture amorphous, crystallized and solid state RPET resins that are either non-FDA or FDA approved for food contact. Plans call for building at least one additional FDA, RPET resin line in Darlington that is scheduled to be operational by Q3, 2021. The resin produced on this line will be of high quality and suitable for use in the vast majority of PET applications.
“This additional investment is ultimately driven by our customers’ commitments to sustainability. They have entrusted PolyQuest with their current and future post-consumer RPET resin supply requirements. As such, we have chosen to pro-actively expand our recycle capabilities to support their strategic sustainability initiatives and stay ahead of the curve,” said John Marinelli, CEO of PolyQuest.
“We have additional pelletizing capacity in Darlington as needed if we wish to ‘bolt on’ another IV enhancement line which we are considering as we grow our post-consumer recycle footprint in PET resins,” Marinelli added. “Our total corporate thermoplastics recycling capacity is approximately 150 million pounds per year, which includes post-consumer washed bottle flake plus post-consumer pelletizing and solid stating plus post-industrial pelletizing. Recycling is a key component of our value-added proposition to our customers and represents approximately 15% of our overall business if you factor in our virgin thermoplastics’ distribution. Consistent with our long-term vision, we would like to maintain the recycle component share of our total thermoplastics business portfolio over time. Part of this exercise may require us to step into the olefins post-consumer recycling realm shortly, specifically in recycled polypropylene (PP) resins. Even though the amount of post-consumer PP recycled pales in comparison with PET at present, the rapid growth of PolyQuest’s virgin PP distribution business requires that we intensively study and consider investing in post-consumer recycled PP in the near future. In summary, we aspire to replicate our very effective virgin PET distribution/recycle model in the olefins market, therefore, surgical investments in the appropriate post-consumer PP (and possibly polyethylene) recycle technologies seem appropriate.”