Dow EnergyBag effort remains on track in Idaho

Illinois-based global chemicals and plastics company Dow, Reynolds Consumer Products and California-based ByFusion announced a new business agreement that continues their collaboration in the Boise area to what they call hard-to-recycle plastics from the landfill.

Generally, the term “hard-to-recycle plastics” refers to discarded packaging that is not welcome in curbside recycling programs, often because there is no market for flakes or nearby plastic pellets to make mechanical sorting worthwhile.

The agreement is for a demonstration project that began in July 2021 to collect plastic waste from the community through the Heavy Energy Bag program and convert the materials into ByBlocks, a plastic construction product made by ByFusion.

The new agreement “signifies a significant milestone for ByFusion’s Blocker technology as an efficient mechanical recycling process and extends collection another year with the ultimate goal of increasing circular solutions in Idaho,” the companies say. .

Since July 2021, the ByFusion pilot has collected what companies call hard-to-recycle plastic through Boise’s existing Hefty EnergyBag program and converted the material into ByBlocks. “The pilot phase aimed to create new circular uses for up to 72 tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastics and in one year exceeded that goal with 80 tonnes reused to date,” Dow said in a statement.

“ByFusion is delighted with the results of our continued partnership with the Hefty EnergyBag program and Dow,” said Heidi Kujawa, CEO of ByFusion. “After seeing the impressive results from the Boise community, I am confident in our ability to achieve our goal of placing a [ByBlocks] Blocking system in each city.

In February, the City of Boise unveiled a new park bench made of ByBlocks. Dow says ByBlocks can also be used to “create community infrastructure like creating boundary walls, privacy fences, noise barriers, bus stations, dumpster enclosures, storage facilities, and residential projects. And much more”.

“After a successful first year, we now have a proven solution to prevent more plastic from ending up in landfills,” said Boise Public Works Commissioner Jennifer Ellis. “We promote sustainability in Boise while encouraging recycling in our community. »

Through the Hefty EnergyBag program in the Boise area, which began in 2018, community members purchase orange bags from area stores and place plastic packaging not accepted in recycling bins in those bags for the curbside pickup. Carriers pick up and deliver bags to local recycling facilities, including ByFusion.

“Offering a community the opportunity to continue capturing valuable plastic materials to provide an optimal alternative is inspiring,” said Danielle Chatman-Moore, North American Sustainability Leader for Packaging and Specialty Plastics at Dow. .

“Across all Hefty EnergyBag projects in Boise, this brings the total materials diverted to more than 1,000 tons since initial launch in this community,” says Lisa Burns, senior vice president of sustainability at Reynolds Consumer Products. “I am happy to see such a positive example of the program in action, and I look forward to continuing to explore new end-use opportunities in other communities.