Command Packaging, a U.S. manufacturer of reusable shopping and restaurant bags, announced the opening of Encore Recycling. The new 130,000 square foot, state-of-the-art agricultural plastic recycling facility, in Salinas, Calif., is scheduled to begin operations in October 2013.
Encore Recycling will immediately add 40 manufacturing jobs in October, in an area of California that has been hard hit by the economic downturn. In 2014 the company will employ over 100 full time workers and plans to grow to a staff of nearly 500 full-time employees. The facility will have the ability to recycle more than 100 million pounds of plastic per year.
"Encore Recycling is leading the way to help California create the standard for a sustainable and closed-loop recycling system throughout the US," Pete Grande, CEO of Command Packaging and Encore Recycling said.
"Implementing a sustainable recycling model that works for the consumer, the grocery store, and the environment, is a win-win for all. People love plastic. It's part of our everyday lives. Instead of trying to eliminate it, we need to create a "Smarter" plastic and Encore is doing that."
Command Packaging is the first US company to adopt and implement the successful European recycling model. This closed-loop recycling system diverts discarded plastic away from landfills, where it is used to create other recyclable products.
Encore Recycling will partner with growers to collect, wash, and recycle the more than 100 million pounds of agricultural plastic that is currently being disposed of in California landfills every year. The facility will turn the plastic into reusable bags called smarterbags™ for the California grocery market.
The agricultural community in the Salinas valley has embraced Encore Recycling's vision of 'recycling with a purpose'. Some of the largest multi-national and recognizable names such as, Dole, Driscoll, Pacific Gold Farms, Ramco, Red Blossom Strawberries, as well as many independent growers, are working with Encore Recycling to ensure that their plastic is collected and recycled.
"We at Dole Berry Company are exited about participating in Encore Recycling's agricultural plastic recycling program.
It offers us the unique opportunity to avoid sending approximately 135 tons of agricultural plastic to the landfill," Thomas Flewell of Dole Berry Company said. "Instead Encore Recycling will process the material for a new use. We anticipate that participating in the program will result in significant cost savings."
"Until now, we've struggled to find a recycler large enough to handle the discarded farm plastic we use every year in the Salinas Valley," Casey Bassetti with Red Blossom strawberries said. "Encore's new state-of-the-art plant is just what we need to help us find a sustainable solution and improve our environment."