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APR News and Media

March 20, 2017 - Plastics Recycling Update

APR Member Highlight: Avangard Innovative

Why Avangard is putting $10 million behind LDPE recycling

Avangard Innovative, which for years has managed commercial recycling streams and sold scrap to manufacturers, is gearing up to play a larger role in resin production.

The Houston-based company will construct a $10 million facility for recycling polyethylene film into LDPE pellets to produce new film. The company announced the new plant on Monday, concurrent with the Plastics Recycling 2017 conference in New Orleans.

The 40,000-square-foot facility, which is slated to start up later this year, will be built in Houston and will have an annual production capacity of 48 million pounds per year. The feedstock will consist of material collected solely from commercial sources, initially excluding post-consumer bags collected at the front of the store.

Jon Stephens, Avangard’s executive vice president, pointed to several factors coming together to spur the new production facility, with equipment innovation as the chief driver.

“In the last three years, technology in extrusion and filtration has advanced to the point where we feel that we can produce a quality post-consumer resin to go back into film, without having to wash it,” Stephens told Plastics Recycling Update.

Diverse operations

Avangard, a recycling and waste optimization company led by Rick Perez, president and CEO, manages recycling programs for large commercial clients, including manufacturers, retailers, logistics companies and more. Besides the U.S., Avangard operates in Latin America and Asia with locations in 13 countries overall.

In 2002, Avangard moved directly into the production business itself when it started an HDPE and PP recycling plant in Houston, which used seven grinders, two extruders, blending silos and more. But when the market crashed in 2008, the company decided to shutter that operation, liquidate the equipment and take a step back.

In 2006, Avangard made another foray into the production of post-consumer resin as a founding partner of PETStar, the large-scale Mexican PET reclaimer, although that business is now operated by a different company.

Avangard has also entered into equipment manufacturing, currently producing a foam densifier.

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