An Oregon-based recycling firm says it’s the first to have converted previously unrecyclable agricultural plastics back into crude oil.
Agri-Plas says its recycling process recently produced 8,200 gallons of oil for refining into 196 barrels of crude.
“The fact that Agri-Plas has been able to take plastic that would otherwise go directly into the waste stream and convert it into a commercial product that can eventually be pumped into a gas tank is truly groundbreaking,” said Tim McCabe, director of the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department.
Among the plastic materials Agri-Plas is using for the conversion process are dirty agricultural film, greenhouse coverings, mixed nursery and jug materials, prepackaged food containers and lids, and other low- or zero-value plastics that are considered too dirty to economically recycle.
Now working to produce a second shipment of crude oil this month, Agri-Plas plans to expand over coming months and eventually create 58 new green-collar jobs for the area over the next year.