HOUSTON and SEATTLE, May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) and MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. (MicroGREEN) today announced a strategic investment as part of a Series B round of financing that generated a total of approximately $6.9 million from Waste Management, Seattle-based WRF Capital, Northwest Energy Angels and other private investors. This round of funding will enable MicroGREEN to increase engineering, sales and marketing staff, and expand its commercial production capabilities for a wide range of consumer products.
MicroGREEN is an innovative plastics company that uses its patented Ad-air® technology to reduce the amount of plastic required for the production of consumer products, thereby significantly lowering raw material costs. Ad-air technology creates bubbles within solid-state plastics to expand the plastic and improve its functionality by creating an internal microcellular structure that is lighter in weight, more insulating, strong and highly reflective. Unlike other expansion technologies for plastics, Ad-air technology does not involve petrochemical blowing agents or volatile organic compounds in the manufacturing process. The technology works especially well with recycled PET (rPET) – the world's most recycled plastic, commonly used to create beverage bottles.
Later this year, MicroGREEN will begin offering a line of Ad-air enhanced rPET sheets in various gauges for converters to transform into consumer products and packaging. MicroGREEN also plans to launch its first converted product – a low-density, thermally-insulating beverage cup that is recyclable and is itself made from recycled material. MicroGREEN is initially targeting consumer foodservice applications, which according to Global Industry Analysts will represent an over $16 billion market in the United States by 2015.
In a recent lifecycle inventory and analysis study of hot beverage cups conducted by Franklin Associates, Ad-air technology as applied to a recycled PET hot beverage cup has the lowest total amount of energy required to produce a hot beverage cup and the lowest total solid waste as measured in both volume and weight when compared to expanded polystyrene (EPS) and coated paperboard hot beverage cups, the two most commonly used in the market today.
"We're excited to accelerate our growth plans for the commercialization of our technology and products," said Tom Malone, president and chief executive officer of MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. "Our investors recognize the opportunity presented by Ad-air technology to dramatically reduce the environmental footprint of plastics, help our customers reduce raw material costs and transition to more post-consumer recycled materials, and generate value for our company and their investment."
This investment in MicroGREEN Polymers complements Waste Management's industry-leading recycling operations. This investment will also help Waste Management meet two of its sustainability goals: tripling the amount of recyclables it processes by 2020, and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.
"Investing in new technologies and companies, such as MicroGREEN Polymers, will enable us to extract more value from the materials we manage than anyone else in our industry," said Pat DeRueda, president of WM Recycling. "As North America's largest residential recycler, we handle a growing stream of PET and other plastics that can provide the feedstock for Ad-air technology. This could create more value from the materials we recover at our recycling facilities every day."
About MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc.
MicroGREEN Polymers is a privately held enterprise and was founded in September 2002 with a mission to commercialize its patented solid-state microcellular expansion technology called Ad-air®, which significantly reduces the financial and ecological costs of many plastic products while maintaining key material characteristics. Ad-air technology is applicable to plastics in food and beverage packaging, general packaging, transportation, building materials, appliances and consumer electronics industries. MicroGREEN is headquartered in a 35,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Arlington, Washington. To learn more, please visit www.microgreeninc.com. MicroGREEN Polymers® and Ad-air® are registered trademarks of MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste- to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
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SOURCE Waste Management, Inc.