Grant from SPI Boosts Plastics Recycling in Montgomery County, MD

June 28, 2012

Barry Eisenberg

County Executive Leggett Announces Expansion of County’s Plastics Recycling Program to Include PET Thermoform Plastic Containers

Thanks to a $63,000 grant from SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, Montgomery County (Md.) Executive Ike Leggett announced today that beginning immediately residents of single-family homes receiving County recycling pick-ups can now add PET thermoform plastics to their recycling bins.  The announcement was made at the County’s Shady Grove Processing Facility & Transfer Station in Derwood, Maryland.

SPI was represented at the event by Patty Long, director of industry affairs and a life-long resident of Montgomery County. “We are thrilled that Montgomery County has been selected as the primary grant recipient in our effort to establish model programs for the collection and intermediate processing of PET thermoformed packaging,” said Long. “With the help of this grant program, we can move forward with making the recycling of PET thermoforms commonplace -- keeping them out of landfills and reusing a valuable resource.”

PET thermoform plastic containers, labeled with the #1 resin code, include clamshells, cups, trays, boxes and lids often used to package fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery items, prepared foods and salads, and deli items.  

“I am especially pleased to make this announcement because this is something that residents have been asking for,” said Leggett. “Thanks to the efforts of the Division of Solid Waste Services’ staff and their diligence in identifying new markets for the things you want to recycle, we can stand here and say ‘Now you can recycle PET#1 containers.’”

In May, Leggett announced the establishment of a new, higher recycling goal for Montgomery County – to go from the current 57 percent up to 70 percent of the waste stream being recycled by the end of 2020. 

PET thermoform packaging “is becoming more widely used and is increasingly present in the waste stream. Forecasts indicate that the amount of PET thermoforms used will increase even more over time,” said Dan Locke, chief of Montgomery County’s Division of Solid Waste Services. “We’re pleased to be able to provide our residents with the opportunity to recycle all of this material.”

SPI and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) partnered on the grant program: SPI providing $100,000 in program funding, and NAPCOR providing project management and technical assistance. Placon Corporation (Madison, WI), Solo Cup Company (Lake Forest, IL), and Plastic Ingenuity, Inc. (Cross Plains, WI) provided additional grant funding. In addition to Montgomery County, the primary grantee, secondary grantees were Firstar Fiber, Inc. (which serves communities in Nebraska and Iowa) and Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc. (which serves Elk and Lebanon Counties in that state).

#  #  #

Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly one million American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at and

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. "Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."

Recycle Plastics 365 - Pursuing Zero Waste

Page Tools