Container Recycling Pilot Program Launched

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Container Recycling Pilot Program Launched
Stacks of empty plastic motor oil containers. © MZakiChannel / Shutterstock.com

The National Lubricant Container Recycling Coalition, a group of major lubricant players and packaging manufacturers aiming to establish programs that recycle lubricant containers, announced its first pilot program.

The program is a one-year project covering over 40 locations in Atlanta, including retail stores, auto care centers, quick lube stations and commercial facilities.

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“The pilot aims to assess and measure the economic and market drivers for post-consumer recovery and recycling, better understand consumer waste disposal behaviors, and define parameters for model development and future scalability,” the coalition said in a press release.

Safety-Kleen is one of a few partners on the project, along with Nexus Circular, an Atlanta-based recycling company.

“One of the biggest waste management challenges facing the U.S. is our ability to collect, sort and process plastic packaging and return it to productive use,” said NLCRC Director Tristan Steichen. “For contaminated packaging from petroleum and related materials, this isn’t really happening. The pilot focuses on the heart of the problem – collection – to find the most efficient ways to aggregate and transport the materials to processors that want them, creating value in a waste material that doesn’t exist today.”

This is the coalition’s first pilot program to be enacted, though Steichen told Lubes’n’Greases last year that other projects had been put together and needed to be approved. These projects involve 100 or so locations in a few different markets with different geographies and political environments. They cover collections, customer engagement, transportation of materials to a recycling location, processing packaging material and delivering it for secondary use. There is also a small research project.

The NLCRC’s five founding members are lube blenders BP Castrol, Valvoline and Shell’s Pennzoil-Quaker State, along with packaging manufacturers Graham Packaging and Plastipak Packaging. Berry Global, Chevron and the Petroleum Packaging Council have also joined.

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