Trex Co. has reached an agreement with recycling company Arkansas Poly & Printing (AP&P), Van Buren, AR., to supply Trex with more than 1.2 million pounds a year of scrap plastic to feed the manufacturer’s Little Rock, AR., plant when it begins production in January 2024.
The agreement will increase sustainability efforts for both manufacturers in the state and reinforce Trex’s commitment to supporting Arkansas-based suppliers.
AP&P co-owner Sarah Diebold noted the Trex partnership will increase employment at the 70,000-sq.-ft. Van Buren plant and enhance sustainability efforts by reducing its carbon footprint.
“When we bought the company, we wanted to make sustainability a focus,” she said. “Instead of putting our scrap in a landfill, we wanted to partner with somebody who could convert it to something else. All of our scrap from our production runs…will ultimately go from Van Buren to Little Rock and Trex will use it to make outdoor products. This really made an excellent fit for us.”
Trex, which has manufacturing operations in Virginia and Nevada, is scheduled to create more than 500 new jobs at the facility it is building on a 289-acre site at the Port of Little Rock.
“When we move to Little Rock we’ll have a supply that’s basically right there,” said Stephanie Hicks, materials sourcing manager for Trex. “It’s going to be a huge asset to have suppliers coming out of the Midwest and in Arkansas to be able to supply our plant.”
A byproduct of AP&P’s production process is the creation of scrap plastic, which today is bundled and shipped to a Trex plant in Virginia. Once the Little Rock plant opens, sustainability efforts will receive a boost by further reducing the carbon footprint required to send the scrap plastic to the East Coast.
“Commercial partners like Arkansas Poly are essential to Trex’s sourcing efforts,” Zach Lauer, supply chain VP for Trex, said in a news release announcing the partnership. “We are excited to join forces with a company that shares our vision of driving recycling for plastic films and pleased to be establishing meaningful connections with our new neighbors in Arkansas.”