Milliken Joins Polypropylene Recycling Coalition to Help Ensure a Circular Future for PP-based Packaging

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Milliken & Company has joined the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, an industry collaboration established by The Recycling Partnership to improve polypropylene (PP) recovery and recycling in the United States. Milliken will help fund the coalition’s efforts to enhance the PP recycling infrastructure nationwide, establish consumer education programs that encourage curbside recycling, and help enable a robust supply of high-quality recycled PP for packaging producers through the company’s own product portfolio.

According to The Recycling Partnership’s 2020 State of Curbside Recycling report, as much as 1.6 billion pounds of PP may be available per year from single-family homes for potential recycling into new products. The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition aims to improve PP recycling in the United States by awarding grant dollars for sorting equipment and supporting consumer education programs and research. Through these efforts, the coalition will help make it easier for people to recycle PP and ensure that more recyclers can effectively sort the material in their facilities.

“Milliken’s partnership with the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition illustrates our goal of convening thought leaders within the plastics industry to help create meaningful solutions to address the plastics end-of-life challenge,” shares Halsey Cook, president and CEO, Milliken & Company.

Milliken’s Solutions for Recycled Polypropylene

Milliken’s DeltaMax™ Performance Modifiers, UltraFit™ Solutions and Millad® NX® 8000 clarifying agent promote recyclability of PP packaging. DeltaMax Performance Modifiers optimize the physical properties and processability of recycled PP resins, particularly their impact resistance and melt flow. UltraFit Solutions allow converters to use recycled PP resins to produce parts with consistent dimensional tolerances. Millad NX 8000 clarifier received Critical Guidance Recognition from the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) in 2019. This recognition for innovative materials validates that Millad NX 8000 clarifier is compatible with plastic packaging recycling and does not adversely affect the recyclability of PP parts.

“Milliken strongly supports industry engagement to solve problems like plastic recycling that are larger and more complex than one organization can handle,” said Allen Jacoby, Senior vice president, Plastics Additive, Milliken & Company. “Collaboration not only sparks new ideas, it can also generate practical solutions to tough challenges. We are actively participating in initiatives that support broader use of polypropylene—especially recycled content—in packaging and other industries. Our additives already help enhance the quality and performance of recycled polypropylene, and membership in the coalition will add a new dimension to our multi-pronged approach to circularity.”

Polypropylene offers important sustainability advantages in food and non-food packaging applications, including high-performance mechanical properties that reduce the amount of material required in an application, compared to other resins. Because it can be used in containers, closures and labels, PP helps avoid multilayer constructions that are traditionally difficult to recycle. Milliken clarifiers, nucleating agents, performance modifiers and other additive solutions help ensure that PP can be successfully recycled and made available for reuse in a variety of applications, including packaging. These additives preserve PP’s value and extend its useful life.

About Milliken

Materials science expert Milliken & Company knows that a single molecule has the potential to change the world. With innovative solutions across the textile, flooring, specialty chemical and healthcare industries, Milliken answers some of the world’s greatest challenges. Named to the World’s Most Ethical Companies list by Ethisphere Institute for 14 years, the company meets the moment with an unwavering commitment to delivering sustainable solutions for its customers and communities. Eight thousand associates across 46 locations globally rally behind a common purpose: to positively impact the world for generations. Discover more about Milliken’s curious minds and inspired solutions.

About The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership is a national nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in states, cities, and communities nationwide. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging to local governments charged with recycling to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org

Download full press release