The World's Largest Bottle-to-Bottle Plastic Recycling Plant Opens its Doors in Riversid

To Press Releases listMar 1, 2012

carbonLITE's new 220,000 sq-ft plant receives support from California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld, among others

RIVERSIDE, Calif., March 2, 2012 -- carbonize, a leading producer of bottle-grade raw material used to make new bottles, was joined by California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today to announce the official grand opening of the world's largest bottle-to-bottle plastic recycling plant. Located in Riverside, Ca., the 220,000 sq-ft plant has already created over 100 green jobs and will recover more than two billion plastic PET bottles annually from California's Curbside and Redemption Value programs.

Governor Brown kicked off a Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon-Cutting ceremony held today, bringing together notable guests from the State of California, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, County of Riverside, City of Riverside and Riverside Chamber of Commerce, along with executives from PepsiCo and Nestlé Waters.

"Companies like carbonLITE are revolutionizing the recycling industry and dramatically reducing the huge amount of plastic dumped in California landfills every year," said Governor Brown.

"carbonLITE is using high-tech innovations to bring used plastic back to food grade quality," said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for EPA's Pacific Southwest. "By recycling two billion PET bottles (12 fl oz) every year, this cutting-edge facility is helping America save 48 million gallons of gas. This is a model of resource recovery and economic development."

Previously, most plastic bottles collected in California were exported to China and downcycled into polyester fiber. carbonLITE is changing that, and bringing both this valuable resource and jobs back to the State. carbonLITE is able to do this with the support of their customers like PepsiCo and Nestlé Waters while helping both companies achieve their sustainability goals.

"We're committed to being the leading bottle-to-bottle recycler, preserving resources and reducing the carbon footprint from PET bottle production," said Leon Farahnik, Chairman, carbonLITE. "We're honored to have the support of Governor Brown, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld, and the many others who came out to our grand opening and experienced our state-of-the-art recycling facility. Our customers are allowing us to truly make a large impact by creating a sustainable infrastructure for beverage companies."

carbonLITE specializes in processing used plastic bottles into bottle-grade PET pellets that can then be used to manufacture new plastic beverage bottles. This conserves virgin resources, reduces landfills, and capitalizes on the energy already invested in making existing plastic products.

Products made using PET resin are recyclable and highly sustainable. PET can be recycled numerous times, turning bottles back into bottles. The PET resin offered by carbonLITE will have been processed using a method that has received an LNO (letter of non-objection) from the FDA, allowing it to be used at levels up to 100 percent recycled content in the manufacture of PET bottles and containers for direct contact with all food types under cold fill and hot fill conditions.

About carbonLITE: carbonLITE, founded by plastics stalwarts Leon Farahnik and Neville Browne, owns and operates the world's largest post-consumer plastic bottle recycling facility devoted to producing bottle-grade raw material used to make new bottles. Their new 220,000 sq-ft, bottle-to-bottle, PET recycling plant opened in Riverside, CA, creating over 100 green jobs and processing more than two billion plastic bottles annually. The second phase of carbonLITE's development will double capacity to more than four billion PET bottles per year in mid-2013. Through new state-of-the-art facilities, technologies, and equipment, carbonLITE is fully invested and committed to making an impact in preserving resources and reducing the carbon footprint from PET bottle production.

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KPCC: Plastic bottle recycling plant opens to make more plastic bottles

Gov. Jerry Brown visited Riverside Friday morning to attend a groundbreaking ceremony at what promises to be one of the largest plastic recycling plants in the country. The facility aims to decrease new plastic bottle production, as well as the export of plastic to China.

The 250,000-square-foot CarbonLITE recycling center is Nestléd on Riverside’s eastern edge, where rows of warehouses give way to rugged foothills. When it’s fully operational, workers at the plant will hack, scrub and melt mountains of old plastic bottles for use in new plastic bottles.

CarbonLITE president Neville Browne calls it "cradle-to-cradle" recycling.

"To distinguish the type of recycling that we’re doing here from the more traditional idea of recycling, this is effectively plastic toys into fence posts," said Browne, speaking inside a windblown tent at the plant’s opening ceremony. "What we’re doing here is genuine cyclical recycling; plastic toys to plastic toys ad infinitum."

"Little complicated to follow all that," joked Gov. Jerry Brown after listening to Browne’s spiel. "But I think I got it. By the way, that’s going to happen to all of us too! Don’t feel too good about it. We’re all gonna be recycled."

The governor praised CarbonLITE’s goal of reducing the number of plastic bottles exported to China. By some estimates, California ships about half-a-billion pounds of plastic to Chinese recycling centers every year.

"What this plant demonstrates is the wave of the future: efficiency, elegance and sustainability," said Brown.

At full capacity, the CarbonLITE plant will operate round the clock, and recycle up to 2 billion plastic bottles a year.

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RIVERSIDE PRESS ENTERPRISE: Governor stops at recycling plant opening
BY DUANE W. GANG
STAFF WRITER

dgang@pe.com

PE Video: Gov. Brown at Riverside's carbonLITE

During his two-day visit to the Inland area, Gov. Jerry Brown stopped Friday morning to attend the official grand opening of carbonLITE, a plastics recycling company on Michigan Avenue in Riverside.

The 220,000-square-foot plant does what is called bottle-to-bottle recycling. In other words, plastic bottles are broken down and recycled into the raw material to make new bottles.

CarbonLITE Chairman Leon Farahnik and President Neville Browne said that unlike other forms of recycling — taking plastic toys and turning them into plastic fence posts, for example — this type is sustainable long term.

Several hundred people attended the event, including Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, County Supervisor Bob Buster and the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection’s regional director, Jared Blumenthal. The city and county helped carbonLITE find its current location in the Hunter Industrial Park.

“What this plant demonstrates is the wave of the future, and that is efficiency and elegance and sustainability,” Brown said told those gathered for the grand opening. “With seven billion people on the planet, you can’t act, live and waste the way humankind did when there was only a billion people on the planet.”

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EcoSeed: Largest recycling plant to process 2 billion plastic bottles a year

Plastic bottle recycling company Carbonlite has opened its 220,000-square feet Riverside facility in California, billed as the world's largest "bottle-to-bottle" plastic recycling plant.

With its size, the plant will be able to recover and recycle more than 2 billion plastic PET bottles annually, working along with California's Curbside and Redemption Value programs. It will also create around 100 green jobs in the area, the company said.

Under California's Bottle Bill, Californian consumers can redeem their bottles and containers through either a supermarket-based recycling center, a privately-operated recycling center or by donating them to a nonprofit recycling program or curbside recycling program.

Most of the bottles collected are exported to China and "downcycled" into polyester fiber. Carbonlite will allow the used bottles to be transformed into bottle-grade PET pellets that can then be used to manufacture new plastic bottles domestically.

"By recycling two billion PET bottles every year, this cutting-edge facility is helping America save 48 million gallons of gas. This is a model of resource recovery and economic development," said Jared Blumenfeld, Pacific Southwest regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Carbonlite plans a second phase of development for the plant that will increase its capacity to more than 4 billion PET bottles per year by mid-2013. – EcoSeed Staff