How Partnership Can Transform Plastic Recycling

By: Adam Glasgow, Commercial Director, Again Technologies

Over the last three years, governments across the globe have established regulations to help combat the rise of plastic in our oceans, which is polluting water and ecosystems, and negatively affecting our health.

  • California passed a law to reduce single-use plastics by 25% in 2032. This same law also requires that “30% of plastic items sold or bought in California are recyclable by 2028”.
  • The EU requires a tax of €0.80 per kilogram on nonrecycled plastic packaging waste. The UK  also requires a tax on plastic packaging if it’s made from less than 30% recycled material.
  • The United Nations passed a resolution, agreed upon by 200 countries, to develop a treaty to end plastic pollution. A plan to address the full lifecycle of plastic from production to disposal will be finished by the end of 2024.

These regulations come as consumer awareness and interest in recycled plastics is growing; in fact, 84% of Americans are concerned about plastic waste. Understanding these new regulations, and finding solutions for products that meet and exceed regulations, are both crucial for a company’s long-term success.

That’s what we’re doing here at Again Technologies with our new partner Green Globe Resources (GGR)—helping our clients transition to post-consumer plastic products and providing exactly what’s needed to meet these new requirements. By being at the forefront of plastics recycling we’ve gained the experience and efficiencies needed to meet these demands at a low cost. We’re not just taking action to end plastic waste—we’re going a step further and bringing value to what was once destined for landfill.

Again Technologies and GGR: A Match Made in Heaven

It all started when I met Gavin Doherty over 10 years ago when I was in the waste business. Gavin introduced me to Northern Ireland’s efficient, high-quality, and low-cost manufacturing sector. Today, as the Commercial Director at Again Technologies, I look for partnerships that provide us with unique manufacturing solutions that address logistics and efficiencies.

When Again Technologies wanted to expand its footprint into international markets but needed a manufacturing partner in order to do so, I knew exactly who to turn to. Gavin started working at GGR, a manufacturer that makes high-quality post-consumer resin for distribution in Europe, the US, and Canada, allowing us to deliver value to our customers on two continents.

The benefits of bringing together Again Technologies and GGR go both ways. Not only does Again get access to high-quality manufacturing at a low cost in an international market, GGR gains a new equity partner and access to new US-based clients. Plus, because we’re able to work in between European and North American markets, we’re more flexible when it comes to importing and exporting materials—something that has been crucial in offsetting market fluctuations during recent supply chain issues—a benefit truly unique to this partnership.

From Milk Jugs to Pellets: The Opportunities are Endless

When we started our partnership with GGR it was important to start with something tangible yet scalable. The milk jug was the perfect candidate. It’s made of HDPE (high-density polyethylene)—one of the best materials for plastic recycling. It’s easily collected via curb-side recycling and can be optically sorted at the recycling plant. Once sorted, used milk jugs are then baled and dropped off at GGR, where GGR further sorts, shreds, grinds, washes, dries, and pelletizes the HDPE.  

From left to right: GGR shreds and grinds these milk jugs (left) into flakes (center) which are washed, dried, and pelletized (right) into building blocks for post-consumer plastic products.

Recycled milk jugs become natural colored pellets, and those pellets are the building blocks for finished goods made from post-consumer HDPE. Yes, we can make another milk jug, Again and Again. But this is where scalability comes in: these pellets can also be used to make other end products for our clients such as iced tea jugs, packaging film, and vitamin bottles—basically, any opaque colored bottle or packaging film made from HDPE.

So, what’s next? We’ve started to collect mixed-colored HDPE, and the resulting post-consumer pellets can be used for black or white applications and a wider variety of end products. Plus, we’re currently adding more pelletizing equipment to the Northern Ireland plant. This means we won’t be limited to post-consumer HDPE—we’ll be able to make post-consumer pellets out of other polymers in the next six months.

Contact us today to learn what custom solutions we can engineer for your post-consumer plastic needs. Together, we can make a difference and make sure No Plastic is Left Behind.