According to the Fremont News-Messenger, The Plastics Group, Inc. of Fremont, OH, is receiving a $225,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to install a new plastic recycling line in their factory.
The project will have a massive effect on the surrounding community, allowing the company to recycle more than 1.2 million pounds of plastic each year. The recycled plastic will go towards building gas cans, kayaks, and other plastic-based goods, lowering costs on the back-end for prospective local buyers.
The recycling line, which will begin operation in April 2016, will also add at least nine new jobs to the 245-employee company.
“The payback is big. We are helping the environment, creating new jobs and saving material,” said Michael Moore, chief financial officer of The Plastics Group.
Recycling has been a hot topic in recent years as a widespread effort to get people more involved has begun to fall short after gaining steam in the mid-2000s.
A 2011 study found that 94% of Americans have access to plastic bottle recycling, with 40% also being able to recycle other types of plastic containers, such as yogurt cups and dairy tubs. Despite how easy it has become to recycle, most people and businesses still opt to throw plastics into the trash.
According to the New York Times, prices for recyclable materials have plummeted because of lower oil prices and reduced demand overseas. The slump has forced some recycling companies to cancel the development of new technology, or in some cases, even cease operation.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy director, Laurie Stevenson, is hoping their grant to The Plastic Group will spark an effort throughout the state to focus on recycling and the positive effects it can have on residents, as well as the environment they live in.
“I have a personal connection to Fremont. I grew up here and spent most of my childhood here. From EPA’s perspective, I’ve seen a real change in the agency grow and develop and interact with business,” Stevenson said.
The recycled material, which otherwise would be thrown into a landfill, will allow the Fremont factory to reuse plastic for production. The Plastics Group will also invest about $500,000 into the project to further enhance their recycling efforts.