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Butler-MacDonald ramping up plastics recycling operations to meet demand

Essential-industry customers asking recycler to keep polymer supply channels open

Butler McDonald facility

Butler-MacDonald, a plastics recycler and polymer materials provider based in Indianapolis, Indiana, says they have seen a significant spike in business since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

Butler-MacDonald serves customers across the U.S. as both a plastics toll processor performing size reduction, polymer separation, metal and contaminant removal, pelletizing and compounding, as well as a polymer supplier providing high quality regrind and reprocessed resins including HIPS, PP, LDPE, LLDPE and HDPE.  The company says their March 2020 sales are up 10% over 2019.

Many of Butler-MacDonald's customers are deemed "essential" and the company has received several letters from customers asking them to remain fully operational and keep the important supply channel open.

Not only has Butler-MacDonald stayed fully operational running three shifts, they have added capacity in the form of increased staff, extended hours (including Saturdays) and overtime. 

President Scott Johnson attributes the increase in business primarily to an increase demand for polymers used in the fight against COVID-19 including plastics for medical face shields, disinfecting wipe containers and lids, bleach bottle caps and more. To a lesser extent additional business has come to Butler-MacDonald as other smaller suppliers have either shut down or do not have the inventory to meet the increased demands of their customers.

Because the company has a long history of recovering high-quality polymers from plastics or parts that most recyclers would consider unusable, Butler-MacDonald has been able to take in additional source materials that others won't and use it to create high-quality, near virgin polymers to keep up with the sharp increase in demand.

"I'm extremely grateful that we have been able to stay open and provide our family of employees with a steady paycheck during these difficult times," says Johnson. 

"But our top priority is keeping our employees safe and healthy."  To that end Butler-MacDonald has implemented COVID-19 Employee Safety Guidelines which establish new policies for social distancing and frequent disinfection of surfaces and equipment including control panels, telephones, computer keyboards, mice, and door handles.

 "We know this is a temporary situation, but our ability to perform at such a high level during this pandemic and the lessons learned will only make us stronger when things start to return to normal," says Johnson.

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