Today marks the Grand Opening of CarbonLITE Industries, a bottle-to-bottle PET recycling plant in Riverside, CA.
California Governor Jerry Brown is attending the Grand Opening, along with Assembly Member Gordon, local officials from Riverside and representatives from PepsiCo and Nestle Waters. Read the press release on the Governor's website.
Last year, Assemblyman Rich Gordon (Menlo Park) and Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (Fremont) authored AB 1149, which expanded California’s successful Plastic Market Development (PMD) program, and provided $20 million in additional funding to the program. This expansion of the PMD program provided additional incentives for California-based companies, such as CarbonLITE, to remanufacture plastics in-state.
The plant will initially produce 75 million pounds of food-grade recycled PET annually and currently employs 100 people. The plant is also considered the world’s largest post-consumer recycling facility at 220,000 square foot, and at full capacity, the plant will recycle more than 2 billion plastic bottles from curbside and deposit materials.
Historically, more than 80 percent of these containers were being shipped overseas for processing and recycling into new products. In a written statement from Assembly Member Gordon, "When we ship used soda and water bottles to China, we are exporting thousands of jobs overseas that could just as readily exist in California if the appropriate investments were set up to support it. AB 1149 builds on the success of the PMD program and will create and support thousands of jobs while helping our environment."
Also at the grand opening is Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste, "Recycling’s a proven job creator. We are closing the loop on plastics recycling, reducing pollution and waste, and creating and keeping green jobs in CA."
Additionally, Assembly Member Gordon is working with business and environmental stakeholders to include in AB 1933 to further extend market-based incentives to increase in-state recycling and green jobs here in California.