Plastics Technology

NOV 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Schwarze says the company also sells some of its flake and chip material into the open market for various polyester end-uses. Unifi sells some material into the strapping market and sells flake PCR for thermoformed sheet as well. "It's a very versatile material that can go into almost any polyester end-market," he says. RECYCLING DEMAND The company says its recycled fiber is a high-quality drop-in replace- ment for virgin fiber that is traceable and certified. Increasing the amount of recycled material in products is becoming more wide- spread among all different types of brands, which is great news for a company like Unifi. "Generally, what we're seeing is that younger consumers actively seek out and purchase from brands they know to be socially and environmentally responsible. Millennials are drawn to brands that reflect their personal values," Schwarze says. With less material now being sent over to China, Schwarze says the polyester end-markets for recycled bottles remains strong. While there has been some extra material in the last 18 months since China's National Sword policy went into place, it has been offset by a lot of growth in the recycled PET industry in the U.S. Some minor challenges remain. For example, when the company recycles bottles at its Reidsville operation, they get non-PET by-products, so the company is becoming creative in finding ways to move those materials. With those big goals to recycle 20 billion bottles by 2020 and 30 billion bottles by 2022, one of the challenges is that as of 2016, the U.S. has less than a 29% recycling rate for plastic bottles. As a result, Unifi is looking to get the recycling message out by various partner- ships to boost recycling rates at home and through direct recycling of materials from event venues and universities. For instance, Unifi announced a long-term partnership with the collegiate Pac-12, with Unifi serving as the Founding Sustainability Partner of Pac-12 Team Green and as a sponsor of the Pac-12 Sustainability Conference. Unifi will provide annual grant awards to all 12 of the Conference's member institutions to promote campus zero-waste activities and circular-economy programs. Unifi will In the Repreve recycling process, pellets (or "chips") are melted and extruded into a fiber. 38 NOVEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com Unifi On-Site n s i g n E Q U I P M E N T ENSIGNEQ.COM | 616.738.9000 | SALES@ENSIGNEQ.COM • SYSTEMS INTEGRATION • CONTAINER FILLING/UNLOADING • MATERIAL CONVEYING • ADVANCED DUMPING TECHNOLOGY • WEIGH SYSTEMS • MIXING AND BLENDING Smart Solutions To Keep You Moving! BULK MATERIAL H A N D L I N G S Y S T E M S E N S I G N D E S I G N S & M A N U F A C T U R E S

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