May 10, 2024 - Business

The North Texas company making plastic more sustainable

machinery processing pellets of resin

These pellets were once plastic products. Photo: Courtesy of Revolution

A Flower Mound company has started selling trash bags made with recycled plastic to give the average consumer a way to trim their environmental footprint.

Why it matters: Plastic is a paradoxical product — it's useful to people around the world but usually ends up in landfills.

  • More than 430 million tons of plastic are produced each year globally. Two-thirds are discarded after one use, impacting humans and marine life, per the UN Foundation.

The big picture: Revolution Sustainable Solutions has carved a niche role in the sustainability industry by creating products out of recycled plastic for the airline, food and agricultural sectors.

Zoom out: The trash bags are part of a growing list of consumer products made with recycled or upcycled material.

State of play: Many companies have environmental, social, and corporate governance goals, known as ESG, that encourage them to think more deeply about the long-term impact of their business practices.

Flashback: Revolution got its start selling agricultural film for farms and taking it back after it was used, to convert it into pellets to make other plastic items, Revolution CEO Sean Whiteley tells Axios.

  • The company's business model has expanded to include more industries.
Plastic waste being hauled away
Revolution has partners that help collect plastic waste. Photo: Courtesy of Revolution

How it works: Revolution collects plastic waste — the thin film around shipping pallets, for example — through partnerships with farms, warehouses and stores.

  • The plastic is then turned into products such as restaurant carryout bags, tubing that farmers use for irrigation, film for nurseries and construction sheeting.
  • Revolution also melts scrap material into resin pellets sold to companies that manufacture things like candy wrappers, bread bags and shampoo bottles.

Zoom in: The company's clients include Pepsi, Cheesecake Factory, Jason's Deli, American Airlines and the University of Texas at Arlington.

  • The company has plants in Mesquite and Kilgore, east of Tyler.

Reality check: The products cost more than their normal counterparts because they're more expensive to produce.

  • A 20-pack of the 13-gallon Dailygood bags, which are made with up to 97% certified post-consumer recycled plastic, costs $12.50, but a 10% discount is available for subscriptions.

The bottom line: "Recycling is a team sport … It's not possible unless there are multiple members along the value chain that are willing to work together," Whiteley says.

  • "But if we want to make a difference, we want to make an impact, then we have to modify behavior."

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