PureCycle Targets Plastic Election Signs for Recycling
PureCycle Technologies has teamed up with the League of Women Voters (LWV) in Florida to recycle polypropylene (PP) election signs after the midterm election on Nov. 8, 2022.
Starting the day after the election, PureCycle and the LWV will start collecting the signs. By the end of the month, they expect to recycle more than 15,000 signs, diverting thousands of pounds of plastic waste from the state’s landfills, waterways, and green spaces.
Volunteers from LWV chapters in Florida’s Volusia, Seminole, and Orange counties will collect signs from Democratic and Republican Party headquarters and from citizen drop-off sites. Candidates and their supporters are urged to bring their signs to a nearby site.
“With our headquarters in Orlando, we wanted to help the community where we live and work,” Christian Bruey, PureCycle’s PureZero program lead, told PlasticsToday. “The Central Florida chapters of the League of Women Voters have done this with previous elections, and it was an important and impactful project for us to support and improve, considering an estimated 10,000 pounds of plastic signs could have been landfilled each election, in these counties alone.”
The collected signs will be shipped to a recycling center for baling and then to PureCycle’s Ironton, OH, facility for processing and purification.
PureCycle holds a global license for a patented, solvent-driven recycling technology, developed by Procter & Gamble, that converts PP waste into ultrapure PP resin. The purification process removes color, odor, and other impurities from PP waste, producing a recycled plastic that can be manufactured into new products and eventually be recycled again.
In Seminole County, the PureCycle sign-recycling program “is a first-of-its-kind recycling effort. … Volusia and Orange counties previously sent the signs to an alternative recycling partner. This election cycle, they partnered with PureCycle after learning about our polypropylene recycling technology,” Bruey said.
“The LWV initially reached out to PureCycle after they heard about our ability to turn polypropylene plastic into a sustainable resin that can be continuously repurposed and reused,” he added.
The election-sign recycling project is part of PureCycle’s PureZero program, through which PureCycle collects PP from sports venues for processing, purification, and re-use in manufacturing. We previously reported on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ participation in PureZero.
“It is our hope that this initiative grows beyond Central Florida for future elections,” Bruey said. “There are hundreds of thousands of these signs in every state across our country that can now be recycled using PureCycle’s technology.”