Novolex Increasing Plastic Bag Recycling Capacity

19 October 2020

Novolex®, an industry leader in packaging and foodservice products, announced today that it is investing in a new water treatment system that will increase its capacity to recycle plastic retail bags and other films collected through "store drop-off" programs.

Novolex expects this investment to increase recycling capacity by more than 500,000 pounds per year.

The North Vernon, Ind. recycling center processes plastics collected through a North American network of "store drop-off" collection points, commonly found at grocery stores and other retailers. Consumers can bring back plastic retail bags, as well as other bags and film, including produce bags, bread bags, newspaper bags, cereal bags, mailers, dry cleaning and other polyethylene films commonly used to package retail goods.

Collected bags and film are then gathered into bales and transported to the Novolex recycling center in North Vernon, which washes and processes them into resin pellets. Water used to process the incoming plastics needs to be filtered and clean to produce a better yield. The new water treatment system keeps the water clean and increases the quality and volume of recycled pellets, which are then used to manufacture new plastic retail bags. This is particularly important as demand from retailers for plastic bags made with higher percentages of post-consumer recycled content continues to increase.

"Because Novolex is both a manufacturer and a recycler, we have a unique role in the plastics circular economy. We're excited to announce this investment in our Recycling Center in North Vernon because it extends our commitment to manufacturing in Indiana and continues to improve our recycling operations," said Troy Cook, Plant Manager.

Novolex is also a supporter of the How2Recycle® program, and partners with retailers to have polyethylene film and bags marked with the "Store Drop-off" logo. This has increased consumer awareness of the types of materials that can be placed in these recycling programs, with stores seeing an increased variety and volume of films coming into drop-off programs in recent years.

"This investment helps ensure we expand our capabilities as the marketplace evolves," said Erik Gonring, Director of Sustainability for Novolex. "All of us need to do our part to improve our nation's ability to collect, reclaim and reuse plastics. It's going to take everyone – from consumers and businesses to government leaders – working together to make this happen."

About Novolex
Novolex develops and manufactures diverse packaging and food service products that touch nearly every aspect of daily life for multiple industries ranging from grocery, food packaging, restaurant and retail to medical applications and building supplies. The Novolex family of brands provides customers innovative paper and plastic solutions for their business needs today while investing in research and development to engineer more sustainable choices for the future. With more than 10,000 employee families, Novolex operates 61 manufacturing centers and administrative offices in North America and Europe, including two world-class plastic film recycling facilities. To learn more about Novolex, visit

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Phil Rozenski