Pardon us if we’re a little giddy today. Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. The day Greenbridge recycling and rPET division Evergreen breaks ground on a major expansion that will double annual manufacturing capacity of food grade rPET from 40 million pounds to 80 million pounds.
That’s a lot of recycled post-consumer bottles being turned into material food and beverage and health and beauty companies are clamoring for. Their customers—consumers—are making buying decisions based on companies’ sustainability practices. Think about it…wouldn’t you appreciate a company that chooses to use recycled PET in their packaging and thus reduced the amount of plastic in landfills and oceans? A growing number of people appreciate that. Which is why we’re expanding.
First, we’re building a new, 54,000-square-foot building adjacent to our current 238,000-square foot facility. Fortunately, we have plenty of room to grow at our 35-acre campus in Clyde, Ohio. The addition will house a new high-volume, food-grade rPET manufacturing line. Once this new equipment is installed and running, Evergreen will have three manufacturing lines to produce rPET. We produced this video earlier this spring that shows our campus and our existing plant.
There’s more. Our existing lines will be retrofitted with solid-state polycondensation reactors just like the new line so all three delivering the same higher quality rPET specifications consumer products brands demand. Of course, all of our rPET meets the rigorous standards set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in their Non-Objection Letter for rPET pellet for direct food contact. See all of the categories Evergreen qualifies for here. Onsite testing is done in our lab to assure quality standards are met. You can find details here.
Here’s a fun fact about Evergreen. Right now, we recycle more than one billion post-consumer PET bottles a year. By doubling the amount of rPET we produce, that means we need to recycle two billion PET bottles a year. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us!
Just how are we going to increase our recycling capacity? So glad you asked. First, we need to partner with more municipal recycling programs and aggregators to increase the volume of post-consumer PET bottles (and other recyclables) we collect. If you know any cities looking for a recycling partner, send them our way. Second, we need to increase the overall efficiency of our recycling.
To that end, last fall we installed six robots from AMP Robotics in our sorting department that separate PET bottles from other material twice as fast as manual sorting. Even better, the robots know to put clear bottles in one stream and green bottles in another. It’s really cool to watch the robots in action. You can learn more about Evergreen’s robots along with a cool video here.
We’re so excited about our expansion, we’re throwing a ground-breaking celebration today with Greenbridge CEO Omar Abuaita as master of ceremonies and special guests that include customers, representatives local economic development groups, the media, the American Beverage Association, and partners like AMP Robotics. After speeches and ceremonial shovel loads of dirt, we’re going to enjoy refreshments. Then on Friday, the construction crew shows up and the fun really begins.
Our HR Department will also be getting to work on hiring for upwards of 20 new positions across Evergreen. This is a great company to work for with opportunities for advancement, great benefits and a mission of making the world a better place. If you know someone looking for a new career with a socially conscious company rather than just a paycheck, please send them to our career page. Those interested are apply for current openings or join our talent database to be considered when the expansion is complete in mid 2022.
Stay tuned for updates! We’ll continue to share videos, photos and blogs on our progress.