Milestone achieved at flagship Ashley, Indiana Plastics Renewal Facility.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – April 21, 2022 – Brightmark LLC, the global waste solutions provider, today announced it has achieved the milestone of recycling four million pounds of plastic waste. This waste, which includes all forms of plastics types 1-7, has been successfully recycled at the company’s flagship plastics renewal facility in Ashley, Indiana, and converted into valuable products, creating a closed-loop, circular economy.
Brightmark’s breakthrough closed-loop solution has the unique ability to recycle all types of plastic waste that has reached the end of its useful life. This waste includes single-use plastics such as beverage bottles, food packaging, plastic bags, straws, and coffee stirrers – as well as the difficult to recycle plastic types 3-7, such as plastic film, flexible packaging, styrofoam, coffee K-Cups, car seats and children’s toys, which are not currently recycled at scale.
In achieving this milestone, Brightmark has recycled 4,000 children’s car seats, 60,000 pounds of boat wrap, 6,000 pounds of plastics recovered from the ocean, 200,000 yogurt cups, and a variety of other non-single use plastics that are likely to otherwise end up incinerated in landfills or as litter in the natural environment, where it will sit for thousands of years.
A staggering 91% of all plastic products do not get recycled. Post-use plastics end up choking waterways, harming vulnerable ecosystems, and often can even end up in our bodies in the form of microplastics. Brightmark’s first-of-its- plastics renewal facility is creating circular solutions to waste, drastically reducing the negative impacts of plastic waste and production. When fully operational in the second half of 2022, Brightmark’s Ashley, Indiana, plastics renewal facility will be capable of recycling 200 million pounds of plastics per year. Scaling Brightmark’s technology in the U.S. and globally is critical for avoiding projections that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight, as reported by the World Economic Forum.
“Achieving this milestone is a great way for Brightmark to celebrate Earth Day as we advance our mission to ‘Reimagine Waste,’” said Bob Powell, Brightmark Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “While four million pounds is no small feat, it represents a drop in the bucket as it pertains to the plastic waste crisis our planet faces. By deploying innovative, circular solutions, Brightmark is ushering in a new era of pragmatic environmentalism to end plastic waste.”
In November 2021, Brightmark announced that a life cycle analysis of its plastics renewal technology has revealed that its proprietary, pyrolysis-based process produces 39%-139% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than equivalent products made from virgin materials. The data collection was conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology with analysis by Environmental Clarity, Inc.
The life cycle analysis revealed that plastics renewal provides 82% energy use savings, 46% water use savings, and a 39%-139% reduction in carbon footprint. The technology’s carbon footprint benefit was further found to be directly correlated to the extent to which a given country relied on incineration as a waste disposal method: In Europe, where 50% of plastics are incinerated, plastics renewal’s carbon footprint improvement jumps to 139% compared to equivalent virgin products.