Indorama adds PET recycling in US with acquisition

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Photo by Indorama Ventures

Global chemical company Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. is expanding its plastics recycling operations into the United States.

The Bangkok-based firm is acquiring an Athens, Ala., PET recycling facility from Custom Polymers PET LLC.

That location recycles PET pellets and flake with two lines that have a combined capacity of 34,100 tons per year.

Custom Polymers PET LLC is an affiliate company of Custom Polymers Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina, which was listed as the eighth largest plastic recycler in North America in the most recent Plastics News ranking. PET is just one of several resins Custom Polymers handles.

Indorama already has recycling operations in Mexico, Thailand and Europe. The company sees its deeper move into recycling as an important step.

"At Indorama Ventures, we intend to play a key role in promoting the circular economy and environmental sustainability by continuing to pursue the right opportunities to fill gaps that are intrinsic to our industry's sustainable and profitable business," Indorama CEO Aloke Lohia said in a statement.

Indorama believes its first US plastics recycling facility is a stepping off point to go even deeper into that sector.

"We strongly feel that this initiative will contribute as an attractive platform for strong future growth in our commitment to sustainable recycling businesses with the potential to expand further with the support of our stakeholders," Lohia continued in his statement.

Indorama will supply recycled PET to both the packaging and fiber markets through its new facility.

The move secures a supply of PET flake and pellets that will "open up new opportunities," including an increasing demand for more sustainable packaging from major brand owners.

"The proximity of this recycling facility to our existing polyester manufacturing entities in the US, synergies of management and supply chain are expected to benefit Indorama Ventures' ability to serve our customers in North America," the company said in a statement.

Custom Polymers PET was founded in 2009. President Byron Geiger could not immediately be reached for comment.

Indorama Ventures makes both feedstocks for PET and PET resin itself. The company also makes fibers as well as packaging that includes preforms, bottles and closures.

The company began in 1994 as the first worsted wool yarn producer in Thailand. That business, still operating, now is a niche for the plastics giant.

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