Shaw, DAK Partner to Produce Recycled PET Fibers

Shaw Industries Group Inc. and PET resin and polyester staple fiber producer DAK Americas LLC have teamed up to create a new joint venture company, Clear Path Recycling LLC, to produce recycled PET (RPET) from post-consumer plastic bottles.

The two companies will both use the RPET material as a feedstock to enhance the value and sustainability of their individual offerings.

Shaw is the initial majority partner in Clear Path Recycling, LLC.

Clear Path Recycling LLC will build a facility to annually recycle more than 280 million pounds — or about five billion PET bottles. Construction is expected to begin in mid 2009, with the plant operational in the first quarter 2010. The plant will be in Fayetteville, NC, at DAK Americas' Cedar Creek site.

The first phase of the new facility will process 160 million pounds of PET bottles. The second phase, planned for completion in 2012, will bring the operation to capacity at 280 million pounds, positioning Clear Path Recycling LLC as what the companies said will be the largest PET recycling operation in North America.

The RPET material produced at the plant will mostly be used by Shaw and DAK in their polyester-based products. But an estimated 25% of the total recycled material will be sold through merchant sales.

"This joint venture investment represents an important strategic benefit to Shaw's PET filament product lines," said Vance Bell, ceo of Shaw. "The recycled content manufactured in this facility, combined with Shaw's patent-pending BCF manufacturing process, will allow us to significantly enhance and expand our innovative Clear Touch BCF family of products."

He added that the venture will also contribute toward the company's 25% energy intensity reduction pledge announced in 2008, "as the use of recycled PET containers employs less energy compared to the production of virgin materials."

Hector Camberos, president and ceo DAK Americas, noted the venture "will reduce the use of landfills and improve internal process economics for Shaw and DAK. By recycling 280 million pounds of PET bottles, over one million cubic yards per year of landfill space will be conserved."

Additionally, the energy savings related to the Clear Path Recycling LLC operation will save approximately 2.5 trillion BTUs of energy annually, which is equal to the amount of primary energy necessary to power 18,000 U.S. homes per year, according to Energy Information Administration data.

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