Canadian Plastics

Trex partnering with retailers and distribution centres for PE recycling

The composite decking maker is inviting retailers, grocery stores, and distribution centres to dispose of their plastic waste through its NexTrex recycling initiative.

September 23, 2020   Canadian Plastics

Composite decking maker Trex Co. is inviting retailers, grocery stores, and distribution centres to dispose of their plastic waste through its NexTrex recycling initiative.

The NexTrex program allows retailers and distributors to repurpose the plastic waste they accumulate as part of their daily operations. Once enough material is collected, it’s sent to nearby distribution centers where it is sorted, condensed and shipped to Trex’s manufacturing facilities in Virginia and Nevada, to be used in the making of the company’s decking and railing products. Trex compensates partners for the plastic waste they contribute.

“NexTrex is a prime example of an initiative where everybody wins,” said Dave Heglas, Trex’s senior director of supply chain excellence. “Our retail and distribution partners win by providing their customers with an environmentally responsible way to dispose of plastic waste. Trex wins by collecting a key ingredient to make our products. And, ultimately, we all win by keeping tons of single-use and packaging plastic from ending up in landfills.”

One of the largest recyclers of plastic in North America, Trex reclaims and repurposes more than 400 million pounds of polyethylene plastic film annually through its NexTrex commercial partnerships and community programs. Among its largest sources are grocery stores and other retailers who partner with Trex to dispose of plastic shopping bags and PE film used to wrap products and pallets.

“In distribution, plastic film plays a huge role in maintaining the quality of goods and ease of transport,” Heglas said. “Distribution centres have the ability and opportunity to consolidate this material for recycling. In addition to protecting the environment, this also saves on disposal fees and demonstrates social responsibility.”

Currently, the NexTrex recycling program engages more than 30,000 stores in the U.S. and recently reached the milestone of one billion pounds of recyclable material collected through participating retailers.

To help retailers and distribution centres determine whether the NexTrex program is a fit, Heglas offers the following tips:

  1. Start by calculating the amount of plastic film being generated at the facility/warehouse.

o   How many pallets are being unwrapped each day?

  • Trex estimates approximately half a pound of film is used per pallet.

o   If the facility manages case counts, what are the annual case sales?

  • Trex estimates that 10,000 lbs. of stretch film is generated for every one million cases (using 50 cases per pallet).

o   Consider any additional volume that could be backhauled from store locations and driver routes.

  • This can significantly increase collection and waste diversion, while also potentially reducing disposal fees.
  1. Collect plastic film for a trial period and weigh it on a scale to project recycling totals; once an estimate has been determined, contact recycle@trex.comto speak with a Trex field representative and learn more about the NexTrex program.

o   Trex offers baler programs, transportation options, and promotional materials to help distribution partners optimize their involvement.

“We’re proud to offer a destination and alternate use for our country’s growing supply of plastic waste,” Heglas said. “Through our NexTrex program, we hope to lead by example and inspire others to become part of the solution.”

For more information about the NexTrex program and how to get involved, click here to watch an introductory video and visit Trex.com/Recycling.


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