Novolex announced that it is investing in a new water treatment system that will increase its capacity to recycle plastic retail bags and other films collected through "store drop-off" programs. The company expects this investment to increase recycling capacity by more than 500,000 pounds per year.

The North Vernon, Ind., recycling center processes plastics collected through a North American network of "Store Drop-Off" collection points, commonly found at grocery stores and other retailers. Consumers can bring back plastic retail bags, as well as other bags and film, including produce bags, bread bags, newspaper bags, cereal bags, mailers, dry cleaning and other polyethylene films commonly used to package retail goods.

Collected bags and film are then gathered into bales and transported to the Novolex recycling center in North Vernon, which washes and processes them into resin pellets. Water used to process the incoming plastics needs to be altered and clean to produce a better yield. The new water treatment system keeps the water clean and increases the quality and volume of recycled pellets, which are then used to manufacture new plastic retail bags. This is particularly important as demand from retailers for plastic bags made with higher percentages of post-consumer recycled content continues to increase.

"Because Novolex is both a manufacturer and a recycler, we have a unique role in the plastics circular economy. We're excited to announce this investment in our Recycling Center in North Vernon because it extends our commitment to manufacturing in Indiana and continues to improve our recycling operations," says Troy Cook, plant manager. Novolex is also a supporter of the How2Recycle program, and partners with retailers to have polyethylene film and bags marked with the "Store Drop-off" logo.

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