PETnology Handbook 2024

(Photo credit: Direct Pack/PR Newswire)

Recycling partnership

Direct Pack has reclaimed more than 16 million lbs of recycled PET plastic through partnership with city of Phoenix

2:10 min AmericaRecycled plastics
Azusa, CA, United States

  • Direct Pack and the City of Phoenix are working together to maximize plastic recovery and recycling in the region
  • The City of Phoenix expects an additional 2,000 tons of waste to be produced during Super Bowl LVII, will leverage Direct Pack partnership to achieve zero waste goals
  • New Recycling Partnership Grant will enable growth and the ability to reclaim more non-bottle PET plastic from MRFs around the U.S.

Direct Pack, Inc. (DPI), a leader in sustainable, fully circular, thermoformed plastic packaging, has reclaimed more than 16 million lbs. of recycled PET plastic working with the City of Phoenix, Ariz. and the Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in the region over the last two years.

The Phoenix area, including Prescott, Peoria and Avondale, produces an estimated 1 million tons of waste each year and processes recyclables from over 400,000 households – a significant opportunity for DPI to reclaim PET plastic and remanufacture it into brand new packaging without using new material.

"We don't want recycling to be a mystery," said Phoenix Public Works Director Joe Giudice. "We want every Phoenix resident to know what happens to the things they recycle – not only how they get sorted in our Material Recovery Facilities, but also where they go after that, how our partners like Direct Pack process them, and what the recycled items turn int. A transparent process can help people feel more fulfilled as they put items in their blue bins."

In addition to its annual waste production, the Phoenix area expects to produce an extra 2,000 tons of waste with the influx of visitors attending Super Bowl LVII and the surrounding activities, making this partnership even more important. By recycling and reclaiming PET plastic packaging and bottles during the event, it considerably reduces the environmental impact compared to sending it to landfill.

"DPI's partnership with the City of Phoenix, its MRF operations and residents, is a remarkable success story for the recovery and reprocessing of recycled PET plastic packaging," said Craig Snedden, president of Direct Pack, Inc. "Our goal is to keep as much recycled PET material out of landfills as possible by reclaiming it from MRFs and turning it into brand new, certified food-grade packaging. The City of Phoenix taking a leadership role in collecting PET packaging is critical to our ability to make plastic a truly circular material and we need more communities around the country to follow their lead."

The Recycling Partnership Grant

Direct Pack Recycling (DPR) received a grant in the first round from The Recycling Partnership's PET Recycling Coalition to assist in the construction of a second PET reclamation facility in Mexicali, Mexico, which will source material from MRFs across the U.S. and produce an additional 15,000 tons of recycled content for new packaging. DPR specializes in recycling thermoformed PET packaging like cups, clamshells, and trays, providing an important new outlet for non-bottle PET recycling. 

"We take Extended Producer Responsibility very seriously. The Recycling Partnership Grant allows us to scale our recycling operations more quickly, and take in even more PET plastic from MRFs, keeping it out of landfills," said Snedden. "Every step we can take to reclaim, recycle and reuse the plastic out there, will help us ensure a cleaner, safer environment for generations to come."


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