PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portlanders will soon be able to recycle multi-layered plastics thanks to a new effort by recycling company Ridwell.
Multi-layered plastics are commonly used in packaging and are made with multiple layers of plastics fused together, Ridwell Portland Manager Taylor Loewen explained. This type of packaging is often found in resealable food bags, frozen food bags, plastic candy wrappers or plastic bags for dry pet food.
“It’s notoriously difficult to recycle because of that mix of different plastic materials and those plastics have varying melting temperatures and are difficult to have it easily melted down to reusable components,” Loewen said.
While typical curbside recycling is best for one type of material, Loewen says Ridwell is working with the company Arqlite, which focuses on plastics that normally go to the landfill, for the new program.
Arqlite will take the plastic and use a high-grade manufacturing process to turn it into micro-plastic-free artificial stone that can be used to support plants for ponding and hydroponic gravel, Loewen said.
Loewen added this new recycling category is “effectively taking that plastic and giving it a new life in potting.”
The new program will be rolled out in April and Portlanders can sign up through Ridwell’s website.