In a major advance for industry and the circular economy, a team of recycling industry veterans have formed a new company, Circular Polymers, to supply the chemical recycling industry with consistent, high quality feedstock made from post-consumer carpet and other plastic destined for landfill. Circular Polymers' new facility in Lincoln, California will process some 30 million pounds of carpet per year, with plans to expand further.
Circular Polymers has the exclusive rights to a proprietary carpet recycling technology developed by Broadview Group International (BGI). This market-disruptive technology has been quietly optimized by Circular and BGI over the past year. BGI President Joe Bork stated, "Our technology disassembles the carpet then cleans the fibers, thus maximizing yield while providing superior quality. The technology processes all carpet types: Nylon 6, Nylon 66, PET and Polypropylene."
"Chemical recycling is the solution to global demand for recycled feedstocks in a circular economy," notes David Bender, Circular Polymers CEO. Major brand companies working with chemical recyclers need clean, sustainable supplies of feedstock. "We understand that chemical recycling operations require the conversion of waste into a raw material with strictly defined specifications. Circular Polymers is uniquely positioned to supply this growing industry. With more than 25% of all recycled bottles getting downcycled into carpet and fiber, Circular Polymers has created a figure 8 in the circular economy, enabling upcycling of carpet into bottles."
Circular Polymers and BGI completed the Lincoln plant expansion in December 2018. "Circular Polymers expects to grow significantly to support our customer requirements," says Nick Fiore, Circular Polymers President. "The chemical recycling industry is in its infancy. Four billion pounds of carpet landfilled annually provides the feedstock for growth."
PureCycle Technologies, an offtake partner of Circular Polymers, is commercializing a patented recycling process that transforms plastic waste feedstock into virgin-like resin. David Brenner, PureCycle Chief Integration Officer, commented, "What we need to make the circular economy a reality is innovators at all levels of the supply chain. What Circular Polymers has done with processing post-consumer carpet back into raw materials for chemical recyclers is not only revolutionary, but an incredible model for us all, considering the large volumes of feedstock that are being landfilled today."
"In addition to providing feedstock for chemical recycling, Circular Polymers' fiber can also be further mechanically processed as a feedstock pellet for automotive, injection molding and other upcycled applications," commented Mark Babich, Relationship Partner for Circular Polymers.
Circular Polymers received a grant from Carpet America Recovery Effort(CARE) in December 2018 to add new BGI equipment to remove and separate the Polypropylene backing fiber from the carpet face fiber. Bob Peoples, Executive Director of CARE, commented, "Circular Polymers is now the leading innovator of carpet recycling technology and our fastest growing recycler. I am very proud of what this talented team has been able to accomplish. They are proving a circular economy is achievable."