Unifi, Inc. celebrated the grand opening of the company’s REPREVE® Bottle Processing Center located in Reidsville, N.C. Integral to the new Plastics Recycling Facility (PRF) is the front-end polyethylene terephthalate (PET) purification system, designed, manufactured, and installed by Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS). Unifi’s investment of more than $28 million supports the company’s objective of vertical integration into bottle processing as the source of raw materials for its REPREVE® recycled fiber product line.
Unifi’s new system features the latest in screen, air, and optical separation technologies from the BHS Family of Companies, including BHS, National Recovery Technologies (NRT), and Nihot. Nine NRT optical units with In-Flight Sorting® technology are critical to removal of non-PET plastics. Among the most advanced in the world, the plant is capable of processing more than 22,000 pounds per hour of plastic container bales to produce 75 million pounds annually of the highest quality and most consistent clean bottle flake.
“We chose BHS and NRT because we felt the technology, process design, engineering, and customer service were all first class,” said Mark McNeill, vice-president of technology and business development for Unifi. “We have not been disappointed. The project management and startup have been exceptional. This state-of-the-art system is smart and robust, and delivers high rates of purity and yield. With the support of BHS and NRT, it will continue to be a tremendous asset to Unifi for years to come.”
“Our latest technology is at work for Unifi, including In-Flight Sorting® and PET Boost™, maximizing the recovery and reuse of clear PET to create REPREVE products and capturing other plastic commodities,” said NRT president Matthias Erdmannsdoerfer. “The new REPREVE Bottle Processing Center is great for the recycling industry, and Unifi should be commended for its forward-thinking leadership. The company is committed to innovation, in this system and with its business model, and provides a strong domestic source to help drive a circular economy.”
Some of the world’s favorite brands use REPREVE in a variety of auto, outdoor, home, and apparel products, including Levi’s, Ford, and The North Face. Since inception, Unifi has recycled more than 4 billion plastic water bottles into REPREVE products.
For more information please visit Bulk Handling Systems online.