Search

Blog

Our vision for a circular economy

10/26/2022

October Update
We will soon be launching a brand new operation in Texas that will produce FDA-approved rPET sheets. This is an excellent opportunity to help address an important aspect of sustainability while furthering our commitment to a circular economy. Let’s take a greater look at what this means.

 PET vs. rPET: What’s the Difference?
 Chances are, you may not be familiar with either PET or rPET. However, it is important to have a basic understanding of the two materials to learn about the importance of rPET. 

PET is an acronym for polyethylene terephthalate. While this probably sounds like something new to you, you likely know it by its common name: polyester. It’s a durable, lightweight material that has uses in many different things from clothing to plastic bottles. 

rPET essentially stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate. In other words, it is recycled polyester from various sources. In fact, rPET can refer to any type of PET material that was generated from a recycled source. It tends to take the form of rPET sheets and rPET flakes.

 Problems with PET
PET is highly used because of its properties, making it a great choice for diverse manufacturing uses. It is cheap, durable, and can be made into custom forms. Thus, you’ll find it in many products, particularly when it comes to packaging. However, despite its many uses, there are intrinsic problems with the use of PET, primarily relating to its disposal. 

While one of the reasons PET is used is its durability, this also serves as a problem when it gets tossed in the garbage. PET does not easily break down, meaning that it is a major contributor to landfill space and pollution. In fact, it takes roughly 450 years for PET to decompose.

Another problem is that PET can be broken down into tiny pieces, frequently referred to as microplastics. Research is showing that microplastics are having a major impact on our world. They are a major source of ocean pollution and have also recently been found to be present in human bodies. Thus, disposal of PET is not a good option.

Benefits of rPET Sheets
A solution to the problems with disposing PET is recycling this material into rPET. Typically, PET is cleaned and shredded into small pellets. These are then crushed and melted, allowing them to be formed into rPET which can take the form of thread, rPET sheets, and rPET flakes.

There are a number of benefits of rPET sheets. For example, the FDA has noted that recycling one pound of PET into rPET saves 12,000 BTUs. With each household generating roughly 42 pounds of PET each year, the impact of recycling this into rPET is clearly significant. Additionally, as a recycled product, rPET has a lower carbon footprint than PET.

rPET sheets are ideal for packaging. They have been approved by the FDA to have contact with food products given their high degree of safety. They are made with tight tolerances, meaning they are ideal for packaging as well as thermoforming. They are just as rigid as PET, providing an excellent sustainable solution.

Uses of rPET Sheets & Contribution to a Circular Economy
The characteristics of rPET sheets make them excellent for a wide variety of uses. The primary use of rPET sheets is in packaging. You can find them in many industries including these:
  • Food and beverage
  • Automotive
  • Home Improvement
  • Clothing and apparel 

The process of converting PET into rPET is critical for further developing a circular economy. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a circular economy is based on three major principles: (1) Eliminating waste and pollution; (2) Circulating materials at their highest value; and (3) Regenerating nature.

 A circular economy has many benefits based on the fact that it allows materials to be reused multiple times for many purposes. First, it means that less resources need to be consumed in order to produce materials. Secondly, it means that products that take a long time to naturally break down (such as PET) are diverted from landfills. Finally, the decreased carbon footprint is useful for mitigating climate impacts. 

Working towards a circular economy helps preserve nature and the environment. Substances like rPET sheets, which maintain the qualities of PET, highlight how recycling can enhance a circular economy without a loss in the quality of materials. 

9/30/2022

September Update

rPET Flakes and the Circular Economy: Sustainability Through Recycling
The Importance of Sustainability in the Recycling Industry
A major part of the global effort to reduce our ecological footprint lies in the concept of sustainability, or sustaining the earth’s resources so that we can continue to benefit from them indefinitely. Since our planet has finite amounts of certain natural resources such as wood and petroleum, maximizing recycling and reducing waste are important parts of ensuring that we don’t use up our resources faster than they can be replenished. RPET flakes are an excellent way to keep plastic out of landfills, minimize your carbon footprint, and help support sustainable manufacturing practices, all while producing high-quality products. Our purpose at Lyrba USA is to create a sustainable future. We also hope to contribute to the larger picture of reducing waste to provide the next generation with a better future.
 
What are rPET flakes?
rPET stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate, and it’s essentially shredded plastic bottles that have been melted down and reformed into plastic flakes. This process allows the re-formulated flakes to be reused in the creation of new products, ultimately making the entire recycling process a full loop. This process reduces the need to create new plastic from scratch and also significantly decreases energy use, which benefits the environment and makes you an advocate of sustainable practices.

How we are using rPET Flakes to create new materials
Lyrba USA is focussed on the circular economy. Our vision is a 7 step process; encourage recycling, save the ocean through programs like OBP, reduce litter leakage, practice reusing, reduce production process waste, design new products that require less materials and increase infrastructure to increase recycling. 
 
Lyrba USA is Ocean Bounds Plastic Certified
Here at Lyrba USA, we are Ocean Bounds Plastic Certified. Our Plastiwood Pallets are made with approved rPET plastic, a recyclable material made up of recycled PET plastics. Ocean Bounds have evaluated our products and determined that they meet international standards for rPET products. You can rest assured for the best quality as their team of experts evaluate the product to ensure it meets all criteria before stamping our validation seal.

Creating a Sustainable Future
We operate from our tree of values whereby the most important considerations within our business are; family, sustainability, honesty, loyalty, respect and harmony. We are not only interested in providing a better future for the environment but also for every team member we have and ever business we can help. 
Recycling plastic can help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The manufacturing process creates less CO2 than any other plastic. It is durable, scratch resistant, UV stable and dishwasher safe. In addition, rPET materials are recyclable. In a nutshell, when you recycle fPET you are both helping our environment now and into the future. We are motivated and proud to contribute towards the sustainability mission through our operational goals. 
 
Consuming Less for a Better Future
We’ve all heard the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle before, but what does it mean? In many cases, reducing our waste production (by buying less and purchasing items that are built to last) can be the most beneficial to sustainability efforts and waste reduction. While we do our best to recycle the materials that have become waste – something everyone can individually practice is reusing. 

6/1/2022

June Update

Summer is almost here! And to us Texans, that can only mean one thing… The hottest months of the year are among us! Now, while we (somehow) have gotten used to the rising temperatures in the summertime, we here at Lyrba USA thought there would be no better time to discuss the elephant in the room when it comes to rising temperature: Climate Change!


Climate Change is a widespread issue that has, in the last few years, sadly become politicized. That’s why, this month, we wanted to cover ALL the bases of climate change, as to show everyone that, although it may seem like a political issue, it is MUCH more than that. We will discuss things such as what climate change is, what causes it, its risks, and ultimately what Lyrba USA is doing to aid the fight against it (and of course, what you can do to save our planet too!). So, without further ado, let’s get this rescue operation started, shall we? 

The United Nations defines climate change as a “long term shift in temperatures and weather patterns”. Now, when it comes to its causes, the UN cites that these shifts “may be natural”, but ever after the Industrial Revolution, “human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil, and gas) which produce heat-trapping gasses.” This is important, as it clarifies a misconception that many have. Current scientific knowledge points towards climate change being a natural process the Earth goes through, not a man-made phenomenon. The issue lies in how we have sped this process up exponentially through the burning of fossil fuels, which, judging by how climate change brought about things like the Ice Age, I don’t have to tell you that increasing the speed of that process is BAD news. 

Now, while it may be easy for some to dismiss it as a theory, we have already begun to feel the effects of climate change as a whole. For instance, here are some of the signs we have witnessed thus far:  

  • The decreasing volume of sea ice 
  • Oceans are getting warmer 
  • The global sea level is rising 
  • Humidity is increasing 
  • Air temperature over land is increasing 
  • Melting Glaciers 

Now, I get it. A lot of these things seem a bit odd. How will the decreasing volume of sea ice affect YOU? Well, all of these things carry pretty large risks that may not be apparent at first glance, including things like:  

  • Irreversible damage to the Arctic ecosystem and coral reefs
  • Extreme heatwaves
  • Consequential impacts on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations
  • The rising sea level will gravely affect communities built along the coasts
  • And many, many more…
These risks are nothing to laugh at. 

So, where do we come in? Well, although some may believe that the burning of fossil fuels is the sole contributor to the increase in carbon emissions, there is actually another important player in this game, that being: The mishandling of plastic waste. Not only can mishandled plastic end up in landfills, lakes, or oceans, where they will slowly release greenhouse gasses but they may even be incinerated, which, when carried out, releases black carbon, which has the global warming potential of up to 5,000x that of carbon dioxide!

This is why here at Lyrba USA we have multiple plastics recycling operations. This allows us to extend the life of plastics, and, as such, reduce the demand for new materials. This in turn helps reduce carbon emissions, giving the Earth a much-needed breathing space. 
 
Now, while it may seem like all hope is lost, and that you are doomed to face this change head-on, there are still a few things you, as an individual, can do to aid in this fight. These things include:

  • Recycling plastics 
  • Saving energy and 
  • Supporting local recycling movements
All of these actions will help reduce carbon emissions, and if done by the masses, will help buy us some more time.

 But we must keep in mind that saving the Earth is a collective effort, not individual. While it is important to recycle and save energy, it is NECESSARY that we begin to move towards more sustainable energy, as well as place tighter regulations on carbon emissions.

So, this summer, do your part. Recycle, save energy, and join the effort for passing legislation on carbon emissions and clean energy. If we act now, we may still be able to put a stop to the awful threat to our species which is climate change.  

Earth has given us a place to experience the beautiful thing that is life, it is time we return the favor.


Rodrigo Orozco 
CEO Lyrba USA
Recycling Park of Lyrba in Mexico

5/4/2022

May Update

This month we celebrate one of our favorite Mexican holidays: Cinco de Mayo! Fun fact, this important holiday actually originated from Mexico’s victory over the French during The Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862, however, over time, the celebration has come to encompass Mexican culture as a whole!

In the spirit of this celebration, we here at Lyrba USA would love to share a piece of our Mexican roots through briefly discussing our Mexico branch, its accomplishments, and the importance of Mexico in plastics recycling as a whole! So, without further ado, let’s talk! 

Founded in September of 1998 by Ruben Tamayo Diaz, Lyrba has over 20+ years of established reputation in producing recycled materials, residue management and industrial maintenance within all of Mexico.As a matter of fact, in its long standing, Lyrba has actually recycled more than 100,000 TONS of non-hazardous and special management residue coming from the industrial sector of services and consumption. 100,000 TONS!

This process allows us to save energy, reduce contamination, increase the usable lifespan of landfills and even lessen the consumption of natural resources like trees, petroleum and water! Lyrba’s ultimate mission isn’t only to provide the best service for our clients, but to positively contribute to our environment and strive for a sustainable tomorrow.Now, while we would love to keep speaking on our fantastic Mexico branch, I think this would be a great time to briefly redirect our focus to Mexico as a whole! As a matter of fact, here are some fun facts regarding the plastics recycling market in Mexico:

  • Firstly, Mexico has Latin America’s largest plastics recycling ratio, boasting a ratio of 58%! 
  • Mexico is actually the largest market for U.S exporters of plastic products
  • And, while speaking on exporting, more than 40% of recycled PET materials in Mexico are actually exported

All in all, as you can see, Mexico is not only a large part of plastics recycling, but of what makes up Lyrba USA today. Whether it be our branch’s reputation and expertise allowing us access to state of the art facilities and processes, or its strong footing on one of the largest plastics recycling markets, we are infinitely grateful of our Mexican roots and more than happy to celebrate them this special month!

So, from all of us here at Lyrba USA, Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Although I know I don’t need to remind you, remember to eat plenty of tacos and, just as importantly, don’t forget to recycle!

4/4/2022

April Update

It is now April, and you know what that means… That’s right, Earth Day! April 22nd marks the day that we all raise awareness of the environmental issues plaguing our planet. So, in commemoration of this special day, we here at Lyrba USA thought it would be a great time to highlight this year’s Earth Day theme, Invest in our Planet, as well as talk further about Lyrba’s place in this whole initiative. So, without further ado, let’s get this Earth Day party started!

This year’s theme is very important to us here at Lyrba USA, as we believe it encapsulates the spirit of the road to sustainability perfectly. Whether investing time, or money, we as a whole, businesses, governments, as well as individuals, need to band together to accomplish this common goal. So, let’s talk a bit more about this change towards sustainability and the impacts for everyone involved.

  • First and foremost, let’s discuss how sustainability can affect businesses. Since the Industrial Revolution, businesses have pondered on the age old question “Should I safekeep my long-term profits, or should I go green?” Thankfully this isn’t the case anymore. More and more companies are now realizing that, according to several studies done by Harvard Business Review, sustainable business practices have been correlated to higher profits, better business performance and overall happier employees. The burden of choice has been lifted. 
  • Now, while sustainability in business is pivotal in creating a healthy Earth, we hold the key to transform the economy for the better. Let’s not kid around, the fossil-fuel industry is huge, but often enough, people don’t consider that clean energy jobs are not only providing earnings above 25% the national median wage, but also employing more Americans than elementary/middle-school teachers. There is a lot of potential within the renewable energy and sustainability industry! 
  • Finally, we get to the individual, the one that holds quite the effective power. By using our voice and taking action in our communities, we can have a massive ripple effect that changes the culture. Help pick up trash, recycle, get informed and spread awareness of the benefits of going green. 

  So, where does Lyrba fit in within all of this? We give trash a place to go, and we aid in repurposing trash into rPET flakes that can be transformed into rPET sheets. These are used to make: rigid packaging applications from the automotive to the food industry. food trays, water bottles, automobile trays, and much more. We are encouraging a Circular Economy. This is pivotal in a green economy, as it dramatically cuts down on the need for new raw materials and eliminates trash and pollution affecting oceanic wildlife. It’s a win-win!

Now, while words may sound good and well, we here at Lyrba believe results speak for themselves. So, why not show you what we were up to last year?

In 2021, Lyrba’s recycling processes saved a total of:
  • 44,377 kgs of carbon emissions.
  •  731,924 units of trees
  • 1,748,600,805 liters of water
  • 437,436,541 kilowatts
  • 265,956 meters cubed of landfill
  • 2,575,337 liters of gasoline

Those are exciting figures, but remember, this is a collective effort, and to truly change the Earth, we need to strive to work together. Incentives are there for everyone, including business leaders, policy makers and even individuals, to strive towards sustainable solutions. It is just a matter of awareness for the cause. Just imagine the numbers that would come out of everyone working together to save our planet. Team effort is monumental in our journey to sustainability, so, spread the word!

This Earth Day, spread awareness. But remember, while having Earth Day to remind us to pick up our slack is nice, every day should be Earth Day. Earth is our home, and we should take care of it each and every day to ensure that it can prosper for generations to come. We shouldn’t wait for a select day out of the year to be, and encourage others to be environmentally conscious. That is what Earth Day is all about. So, whether it be encouraging policy makers to go green, or simply recycling at home, make this Earth Day a reminder to make every day a day for Mother Earth. She wouldn’t want it any other way.

The triple view stand Lyrba USA used at the Plastic Recycling Conference in Washington DC!

3/3/2022

March Update

Boy, oh boy, is this month packed! March not only marks the start of spring, but brings days such as Global Recycling Day, Earth Hour and even St. Patrick's Day (That is a whole lot of green). So, without further ado, let’s talk more about what we here at Lyrba USA will be up to in this special month!

To start things off, this March 7th-9th, we will be participating in the Plastics Recycling Conference in Washington DC! This is a really big deal, as it gathers more than 2,000 industry decision-makers and is even touted as being one of the largest North American gatherings of plastics recycling and sustainability professionals! This year, we are attending the expo because we are interested in-

  • Learning about the critical market shifts that influence the fast evolving world of plastic recycling and sustainability
  • Connecting with other plastic processors, buyers and sellers
  • Hearing the latest from global brands and their sustainability goals
  • As well as, inform and share with others our own sustainability goals and mission

All in all, this will be an event chock-full of learning, as well as teaching opportunities, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!

We would also love to highlight the fact that our brand new rPET sheet production line is now being built! We kicked off the year elated for this new addition to Lyrba USA, and while it may not be ready just yet, this puts us one step closer in, not only expanding our offerings, but in accomplishing our mission as recyclers for a more sustainable tomorrow!

Now, while the Plastics Recycling Conference, as well as our brand new rPET sheet line have got us very excited, we would be awful recyclers by not mentioning a very important event happening this month: Global Recycling Day. So, in the spirit of the holiday, let’s talk a little about the history of plastic recycling and how we got here!

  • It all started with the American chemist Leo Baekeland and his invention of Bakelite- a fully synthetic plastic. Followed by the Canadian inventors Harry Wasylik and Larry Hansen in 1950 with polyethylene.
  • These innovations would later come into play in 1959 when Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin made the prototype for the modern plastic bag.
  • Now, while adopted and loved by the masses, plastic bags began stirring up a public distaste because of their potential environmental risks, so, in response to the outrage, in 1972, the first plastic recycling mill opened its doors in Pennsylvania!
  • Following this, because of the pressure placed on recyclers to make plastic more recyclable, came the adoption and popularity of HDPE and PET plastics, which dramatically helped in further facilitating the process of recycling. 
  • Finally, in 1988, the triangle symbol used to identify plastic resin was adopted, which ultimately helped popularize recycling in American culture. This led to the traction and steady growth of plastics recycling, which has taken us to where we stand today!

To put it into few words, while many technological advancements have taken place in order to make plastic recycling a reality, its history and our journey to create a more sustainable planet has just begun! So, this Global Recycling Day, let’s not only remember what has happened, but cheer on what’s to come!

That wraps up our plans for the upcoming month! With a big conference, the building of our new rPET sheet line and Global Recycling Day coming up, we are working hard to receive this spring with our best foot forward. So here’s to another successful and sustainable month!

Lyrba USA

2/1/2022

February Update

Good news, our brand new PET Sheet production line arrives this month! With this in mind, we here at Lyrba USA thought this would be a great time to talk about the role of rPET sheets in plastic recycling, what they do and ultimately why you should even care. So, let’s get our PET sheet on and start by talking about where it all comes from…

It all starts with discarded plastic materials.These materials are then collected and turned into what we call rPET flakes. We actually have a production branch in Mexico that takes care of this important first step (by the way, our rPET flakes are Ocean Bound Plastics certified!). Flakes are then put through a production line and turned into rPET Sheets. Now, you may be wondering: Why does this matter? Well, that's the exciting part. With our brand new PET Sheet production line, we will be able to turn flakes into sheets right here in Texas, which gives us complete control over the quality of the materials and gives us the opportunity to offer it at a competitive price. Everyone wins. These sheets can be used by thermoformers to make recycled packaging such as:


  • Food Trays
  • Plastic Cups
  • Bottles
  • And even Packaging for Automobile Parts!

The packaging is then used by consumers, discarded, and recycled by us. It’s a loop of sustainability! 

Now, while I could talk about PET sheets all day, I think it's time that we address the elephant in the room… Valentine’s Day. This is a special time of the year in which we get to celebrate our relationships, and in the spirit of the holiday, we here at Lyrba USA want to talk about another kind of relationship that is very important to us: The relationship between humankind and life on Earth.

From a macro-perspective, if the Earth had a life of 24 hours from the moment of its formation to the present day, you’d be surprised to find out that humans have only been around for 2 minutes. 2 minutes! Life took 16 out of those 24 hours to develop, and in only 2 minutes we are inching towards endangering the future of most life forms?! That’s insane. This threat comes from the pressure we place on the environment by improperly managing our waste and requiring too many new materials. Lyrba USA, along with other recycling companies, has started taking steps towards easing this constant pressure. Through recycling plastic, we need less raw materials and we have less carbon emissions, allowing humankind to better manage their relationship with life on Earth.

All in all, through the usage of our new rPET sheet production line, we can take a step towards easing environmental pressure and ultimately creating a more sustainable tomorrow. That’s a Valentine’s Day gift the Earth won’t forget!