New recycling facility expected to create jobs in Flint
FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Flint has become home to ACI Plastics new state-of-the-art plastics recycling facility.
ACI Plastics invested more than $10 million into the new facility, which is slated to create 25 to 30 new jobs to operate the plant with wages from $15 to $20 per hour.
“This means more investments in our community, more investments in good paying jobs, investment in new technologies. This is just another exciting day,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
Officials with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Mayor Sheldon Neeley, and Genesee County state legislators and business leaders made the announcement of the new facility on Monday, Feb. 6. Flint was chosen for the project over a competing site in Ohio.
“We are proud to welcome ACI Plastics’ new facility and congratulate their entire team on this milestone achievement,” Neeley said. “I am very excited about these opportunities brought by ACI Plastics, and I want to thank them for their continued investment in our great city.”
The company’s new state-of-the-art processing and cleaning technology will make ACI Plastics the largest processor of post-consumer recycled plastic film in Michigan.
“We want to as a state to be a leader in recycling. We want to be a leader in equitable recycling,” said Regina Strong from the Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate.
The firm is partnering with Luxembourg-based Ravago, which is the world’s largest distributor of plastic resins serving more than 55 countries across the globe, to ship its recycled plastic pellets to business customers throughout the United States.
“We are going to be running LDP and LLDPE film, all post consumers. This is a journey that started more than 10 years ago. So, I’ve been wanting to do this in Flint for quite a while so here we are,” said Scott Melton, the president of ACI Plastics.
Over 10 years later and with over $10 million invested by ACI Plastics, Melton said the investment a win-win for the city and for the plant.
“We really decided to stay in Flint because we just have great resources. We’re very well located in the state of Michigan. There’s a lot of good labor around here,” Melton said. “So, it made sense to start it here because this is our brain trust.”
The plastic film, such as shrink wrap and bags used in product packaging, comes from companies such as Meijer, Amazon, and Walmart.
“We’re cleaning it out, we’re trying to remove the color, we’re trying to remove any contaminants, any dirt, rocks and other plastics and put it through a whole process of washing and then purifying. So, when it comes out into a pellet, it’s a nice clear looking pellet and can be blow molded back into another bag,” Melton said.
The recycled pellets from ACI Plastics will be shipped and turned into new products by Michigan-based consumer goods and automotive companies, including Petoskey Plastics and Grand Rapids-based manufacturer Cascade Cart Solutions, which makes plastic recycling carts and bins.
Officials said it feels good to make a difference in the community and the environment overall.
“We hear about climate change we hear about sustainability programs, and it’s fun to think we’re a big part of that,” Melton said.
“Those communities that have really had an impact related to environmental justice should now benefit from economic opportunities related to moving in a different direction and how we do what we do,” Strong said.
ACI Plastics is expecting to start hiring in May 2023 and is committed to prioritizing applications from Flint residents.
“We like going to sleep every night knowing that you’re not only doing something to help the environment but also providing a good living for many employees while enjoying a successful business,” Melton said.
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