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Recovering Foodservice Packaging - A MRF Perspective

On August 20th FPIs Paper Recovery Alliance (PRA) and Plastics Recovery Group (PRG) hosted an exciting web-event that dove into the question of foodservice packaging recovery. Close to 200 participants registered for this, the second of three events focusing on the recovery of these items. Audience questions lead our panel of experts, made up of material recovery facility (MRF) operators and engineers, to discuss market driven solutions for these materials. The unscripted conversation, which answered many industry unknowns, helped illustrated the critical path forward for these materials.

Jason Hale from Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) facilitated the discussion and began with a description of the MRF as the gatekeeper of the recycling process. Keefe Harrison (also from RRS) explained the major thresholds for MRF viability, and Kerry Sanford (a MRF engineer) and Susan Robinson (from Waste Management) discussed the importance of anticipated volumes and how capturing these materials in existing markets was vital to success. 

The group as a whole discussed food contamination, a major concern that is not unique to just foodservice packaging, but all household recycling products that have come in contact with food. The group largely agreed that this issue was important, but mostly one that is addressed with strong communication to the public. 

The webinar also gave an overview of a new MRF study that the PRA/PRG have commissioned along with project partners the American Chemistry Council, Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, Carton Council and National Association for PET Container Resources.  The study will provide partners an in-depth look at how various materials flow through a MRF, with the idea that this will help to document recoverability of these material, increase the volume of materials recovered with reduced line losses in the MRF and improve efficiencies.

The third webinar in this series, scheduled for this fall, will focus on the available markets for recovered foodservice packaging materials and will help attendees better understand their potential for locating, engaging, and monetizing what has until recently been seen as waste instead of a valuable resource.

Did you miss the webinar? Well, youre in luck! The webinar, along with the first of the series, are both now available for streaming.
Posted By Natha Dempsey (Vice President) | 9/11/2013 9:32:31 AM