IntegriCo Takes Plastic that China Will No Longer Accept
China once received 70 percent of plastic waste from around the world, but in January 2018, a ban was imposed that drastically decreased the amount plastic the country received. Globally, over 90 percent of plastic becomes waste, and IntegriCo is one company rising to the challenge to reduce this number in the United States.
“IntegriCo is proud to have diverted over 80 million pounds of plastic away from landfills,” said Brian Gaughan, the company’s vice president of business development. “This plastic has been turned into our composite products including IntegriTies™ railroad ties and construction matting through IntegriCo’s innovative technology.”
Over 34 million metric tons of plastics are sent to a landfill or incinerated in the U.S. and Canada each year. Once recycling is collected from a consumer’s curbside, it is delivered to a material recovery facility (MRF). Items are sorted, baled, and then bought by both foreign and domestic companies to be turned into various materials. The bales vary in consistency, and plastic bales are sometimes contaminated or contain plastic of less-value that will not be sold. Instead, it is sent to landfills throughout the country.
Plastic with the resin identification numbers of one, PET(E), and two, HDPE, are demanded the most from manufacturers using recycled plastic. This includes plastic bottles and jugs. Plastics with the numbers of three through seven are more challenged. aIntegriCo is one U.S.-based company that will accept these types of plastics, along with mixed rigid plastic like buckets, laundry baskets, and crates.
IntegriCo is not only processing recycled plastics that others cannot, but they are also using an eco-friendlier approach than its competitors. IntegriCo utilizes a low temperature process that preserves the properties of plastic, while releasing less fumes, and its final products last longer than alternatives, producing less waste over time.
“IntegriCo is just one company closing the loop to prevent plastic waste by turning recycling plastic into new material that is long-lasting,” continues Gaughan. “As cities struggle for recycling solutions, we aim to keep increasing production of composite material, so this plastic does not go into landfills, or worse, our oceans.”